Two vying for open seat on Youngstown muni court
First-time candidates are running for office
By Joe Gorman
Both candidates in May’s Democratic primary for Youngstown Municipal Court judge say they have always wanted to be a judge.
Carla Baldwin, a magistrate in Mahoning County Juvenile Court, where she was a former prosecutor; and municipal court Magistrate Anthony Sertick are both vying for the seat that is being left vacant by Judge Robert Milich, who cannot run for re-election because of age limits.
Baldwin said she is running because she wants to ensure an equal administration of justice for the people who appear in the court, and she also wants to educate the public on the role of the municipal court in the criminal justice system.
Being a prosecutor in juvenile court for five years before becoming magistrate at the beginning of 2017 after the ascension of former Magistrate Anthony D’Apolito to the Manoning County Common Pleas court has given her a perspective on the needs of the community because she sees the problems in the city every day, Baldwin said.
“I understand the needs of the community,” Baldwin said.
Sertick has been a magistrate in the municipal court for the last 16 years and is in charge of the civil and traffic docket, as well as criminal cases that do not require jail sentences. He also rotates between Judge Milich and the other judge on the court, Judge Elizabeth Kobly, in handling criminal arraignments.
Sertick said he has also streamlined the civil docket by having case management before each case gets started to see if a settlement can be worked out.
“There hasn’t been any kind of case before the municipal court that I haven’t handled,” Sertick said.
This is the first race for both candidate.
On the issue of bail, both said they want to make sure people who are before the court on nonviolent offenses will get low bonds or maybe no bond but they also stressed the safety of the community will be their main factor in determining bail.
“While I’m always fair, I’m firm,” Sertick said.
“For those who need to be locked up – trust me, I live here too – they will be locked up,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said she hopes to have open houses for the court, where people can come in and meet court staff and learn the functions of the court; and institute a drug court with a priority of not only drug treatment for offenders but also mental health treatment and services.
Sertick said he is a strong supporter of the Veterans Court, which he said also treats defendants for drug and mental health issues.