For the past several years, around this time (mid-September) residents of Westbury have been granted the opportunity to observe and participate in the annual Constitution Day program at the Village Justice Court on Lincoln Place. This event is organized and produced by Village Justice, Honorable Thomas Liotti, and this year’s presentation on Sept. 19, marks the ninth consecutive year of free admission.
The idea behind the event is to commemorate the formation and signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and as in previous years, the various presenters on the panel did not disappoint. One of the interesting aspects of this event is that attendees have a chance to hear and witness in action scholarly presentation and discussion, on the legal and moral ramification of the law, pursuant to their assigned topic of coverage. For example, presenter Lawrence Boes Esq. opined on the pluses and minuses of holding a State Constitution Convention, while Edward Paltzik Esq. looked at the pros and cons of election versus appointment of judges.
Boes gave an overview as to what the convention is all about, which in my opinion is so timely and significant since it will be a proposal on the ballot in the November elections. I am amazed that there is not much more public discussion on this matter since the opportunity to amend, tweak or otherwise improve the state constitution occurs only every 20 years. To put it into sharper perspective, the last time voters requested this convention was nearly 80 years ago (1938), since subsequent recommendations by the legislature and respective Governors were turned down by the voters.
An interesting and welcomed feature of the event is that the audience is given the chance to ask questions, or seek clarification on mundane, ambiguous or seemingly contradictory aspects of the law, and can expect clear and concise answers in layperson’s term from any of the distinguished panel of speakers, which this year also included Supreme Court Justice; Honorable Jerald Carter, Supreme Court Justice; Honorable Sharon Gianelli, and Erica Dubno Esq.
This is yet another reason why I am so happy to be a member of our wonderful “Community of All Seasons,” where nothing is taken for granted by our elected administrators, and where the various activities and recurring events reflect the diversity and inclusivity of our beautiful village. It is such a pity that these events are often undersubscribed.