Montgomery County Judge Thomas M. DelRicci’s address earlier this month during his installation as president judge garnered rave reviews from a lot of county workers who expressed their appreciation after the judge gave a special shout-out to them.
|Montgomery County Judge Thomas M. DelRicci/Photo courtesy DelRicci family|
First, DelRicci, a 62-year-old jurist from the Ambler section of Whitpain Township who has been on the bench since 1998, acknowledged his “exceptional staff” – his assistant, Natalia Hordijenko, his law clerk, Julie Decker, his court clerk, David Strehle and his criers, Kathy McNally and William McGee.
“They keep me organized and grounded. There is a little friendly competition among judges who all like to boast about their staff. Recently, at a portrait unveiling, two of our judges both asserted they had the very best staff. As an exercise of the prerogative of the president judge, I want to take this opportunity to officially announce that they were both wrong,” DelRicci said, eliciting laughter from the standing-room-only crowd. “I have the best staff.”
However, the judge continued, it’s not only the judicial staff that makes the county courthouse so special.
“It’s everyone who works here. The men and women of the mailroom, the maintenance staff, the court administrator’s office, the security staff, the sheriff’s deputies, the clerks and personnel of the filing offices, the stenographers,” DelRicci said.
|Judge DelRicci with wife, Carol and mom, Jennie/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.|
“Ladies and gentleman, I see how hard these individuals work every day, sometimes under difficult circumstances, to make certain that this courthouse functions well. I want all of those individuals to know today that your work is appreciated, your smiles are appreciated and that I will be your advocate. You have earned that,” DelRicci said.
The audience erupted with thunderous applause.
After the ceremony, many courthouse employees approached me to say they were pleased and thankful that the judge recognized them in his remarks. Some expressed surprise, not used to being recognized in such a public fashion. I could tell it really meant a lot to them.
“We don’t function without them. If my mail doesn’t get delivered, I can’t do my job. If the court reporters aren’t there doing their jobs, I can’t do my job. When I go to do my job every day, there are people who support me,” the judge told me several days later when I asked him during an interview about his decision to recognize employees during the swearing-in ceremony.
“It’s about saying, ‘Look, if you’re doing your job every day and doing it well you should be recognized for it,” DelRicci said.
|Judge Thomas M. DelRicci/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.|
Too often, I believe, the support staff does go unrecognized. I think those who work day in and day out to keep the courthouse running smoothly deserve the special recognition.
Kudos to Judge DelRicci for recognizing the employees. It definitely was a morale booster, a very positive message and great way to start off a new year.