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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Election season: Justice of the Peace candidates

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Dee Huggan — THE BATTALION Rick Hill, retired CSISD school administrator.

THE BATTALION: The Justice of the Peace courts are often described as the “people’s court,” so as justice of the peace, how would you ensure this role is filled?
JOHNSON: Well, I believe that very strongly. Having spent my adult life in public service, I believe very strongly in serving the public, and I believe the justice court is just that. It’s where the average citizens come in for whatever those minimal fees might be and have their case heard without having an attorney, without having to go to a great expense. They can come to their justice court and have their situation heard and dealt with without having to pay an expensive attorney. So I believe just that, that the justice court is the people’s court and I would strive very hard to make sure it stays that way, that it’s open to the public, that people feel like when they came into my court they were going to get a fair hearing on all sides and that a fair determination would be made.
THE BATTALION: Why should students at Texas A&M vote for you?
JOHNSON: In my role as a police officer I had many opportunities to interact with students. I have worked with many student organizations in my tenure at College Station, making sure that our officers were a part of many of the student organizations. We worked a lot with international student organizations, and my daughter graduated from Texas A&M. My wife and my daughter both work there, so again, being born and raised here — I was one of the chaplains for the football team, traveled with the team — so I’ve had a lot of interaction with the students. I just believe that the students need to know that they will receive the same fair treatment as anybody else when they come into the courtroom.
THE BATTALION: The Justice of the Peace courts are often described as the “people’s court,” so as justice of the peace, how would you ensure this role is filled?
HILL: For lots of things, a Justice of the Peace hears small claims court, misdemeanor court, a lot of evictions and things like that, and lots of times individuals will represent themselves in that court. For whatever reason they don’t have an attorney, they feel like they don’t need one, or can’t afford one and so I think to me as judge, it’s important to make sure that defendants or plaintiffs in that court know their rights and know what’s going on. So a lot of times that judge would have to make sure that they explain to someone if they don’t have an attorney, ‘Okay, this is what is going to happen if you do this,’ and so, again, the people’s court part of it is that you want to make sure that you listen and offer information needed to make sure that people can make a good decision.
THE BATTALION: Why should students at Texas A&M vote for you?
HILL: I think that the reason they should vote for me is that they can be assured that if they make a choice of some sort that winds up with them being in my court, they can be assured that I’m going to treat them fairly. I’d like them to know that not only am I a retired schoolteacher and administrator, but for the past 23 years I have been the voice of Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in Texas Aggie baseball. And so when you go to Olsen Field and I’m the PA announcer, I play all the music and do all the sound effects. I also do Texas A&M indoor track ­— for about 20 years. I’ve also read names at Texas A&M graduations. I very, very much love Texas A&M and [am] involved in Texas A&M.

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  • Dee Huggan — THE BATTALION Rick Hill, retired CSISD school administrator.

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