Courtz-A-Palooza informs community

Inaugural event shows ins and outs of Arvada courts

Photo by Crystal Anderson
Around 35 community members came to the premiere Courtz-A-Palooza, listening to a panel of lawyers and city officials answer questions about the municipal court system.
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Arvada’s municipal court system was demystified for community members at the premiere Courtz-A-Palooza, Jan. 23. Courtz-a-palooza was held the afternoon of Jan. 23, in the Arvada City Hall Atrium, 8101 Ralston Road., as a way to inform the community about the procedures, challenges and activities involved in the Arvada municipal court system.

”Whether along the lines of customer service, how we handle defendants, or how the court is viewed, it’s important we balance the values of the community,” Arvada Judge, David Cooke said.

The event was held in two parts, the first was a slew of presentations about the court’s customers, the goals of the court, fine collection, court values and processes, among other items answering questions the community may have regarding the court processes.

For Arvada Resident, Lila Schow, who came to the event to learn about the court system, the friendly, amenable system the city ran was surprising.

“It’s good to know how the city works,” Lila Schow, an Arvada resident said, ”How nice and willing to work with people the city is really surprised me, I felt like I walked into a room of kindergarten teachers.”

During the second portion of Courtz-A-Palooza, a panel of administrators, including Mayor Marc Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Mark McGoff, Arvada Police Chief Wick and other attorneys and city officials. The panel answered questions and fostered discussion about the court system today, and the future of the Arvada court system.

“An institution can only survive if it adheres to its rules and community is that institution,” McGoff said regarding Arvada and the purpose of the Municipal Court.

Around 35 people attended the event which was also used as a building block for court staff.

“We asked you here to learn from you,” Cooke said. “This was info-gathering, we were learning from stakeholders, customers, lawyers, police — you’ve got to learn new stuff to be innovative.”

While the first of it’s kind in Arvada, Cooke said they may host more Courtz-A-Paloozas, as the community approach was effective and engaging. “The city as never utilized this strategy or approach,” he said. “This [event] shows the commitment of the city and the community to do this [the municipal court] with excellence.”

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