Thank you from Belcher
I would like to thank the citizens of Washington County for the opportunity to serve as your probate judge for the past 21 years. It has been a privilege and an honor.
During my time as probate judge I have had an opportunity to work with so many wonderful and giving citizens and professionals in the areas of child protection, aging and disabilities, end of life, adoption, banking and trust administration, and nonprofit organizations. As people face legal problems in these areas, they often come to the probate court seeking a resolution. We are blessed in this county to have many groups that give selflessly to help people dealing with these problems.
Lawyers are the target for many low jokes, but the lawyers in our county who I know, freely donate their time and skill for those without means who enter the probate system. During the 21 years I have been asking lawyers in our county to take pro bono cases, I have almost never had a lawyer refuse or push off an assignment. They do first-rate work despite the fact that there is no compensation. These professional attorneys make our system work.
When a child is involved in a contested guardianship, or when a mentally disabled adult is facing legal action, we often appoint a guardian ad litem to speak for the child or disabled person. These guardians ad litem are community volunteers who give a human face to a system which can often seem opaque. They, too, make our system work.
Finally, I am so very impressed with the community members — friends, relatives, teachers, clergy and ordinary citizens — who step up and agree to take on the responsibility for an aging relative, a child whose parents are in residential drug treatment, or an adult with developmental disability. The gracious gifts of caring “good Samaritans” are special in our community. I have been honored to have a vantage point to watch such gifts being given. It has humbled my heart.
As I leave the probate court, I must recognize the court staff who have delivered such great service to the public. Janice Brown (court register), Cora Walbridge (court clerk) and former court staff Donna Murray and the late Lorna Gaboriault have made my time as probate judge a pure pleasure from the day I began work to my last day of work. They serve our citizens with dedication and professionalism. My thanks to you all.
Judge Belcher retired as the Washington County probate judge on July 16.MORE IN Letters
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- MEDIA GALLERY