Tess Neff: Council To The Court
The November 2 General Election results were certified on November 22, and I was officially declared the next Lakewood Municipal Court Judge. Winning the election was a team effort that required an enormous amount of dedication and work. I am truly appreciative for all the amazing support I received for my judicial campaign. My husband Rich served as my campaign manager and my biggest supporter. He did a fine job for a novice. I will forever be grateful to all those who helped me prevail, whether by placing a yard sign, canvassing, or sharing my information with other Lakewood voters. Every task was important and impactful. We conducted a consistently positive campaign during some very difficult and challenging times, and this makes me very proud. For those who did not support me, I believe I will earn your trust and confidence through my future work with the court.
It is a great honor and privilege to be elected the first woman judge in the history of Lakewood Court. It is an even greater honor to be able to serve the Lakewood community and the individuals who will pass through the court system over the next six years. Lakewood Municipal Court is where the people can go to resolve their disputes in civil cases, misdemeanor criminal cases, housing cases, and traffic matters. My intention is to make the court as user friendly as possible, promote transparency and keep the court connected to our community. It is incredibly satisfying work to help others and that is what I will be doing in my judicial role.
My successful election as judge will bring a bittersweet close my Lakewood City Council service on December 31, 2021. Working as a councilperson has been tremendous. Particularly rewarding were the many times I worked collaboratively with city officials and city employees to reach solutions to constituents’ concerns. Although I could not always obtain the result that some residents wished for, however, I always worked each issue to the best of my abilities. It is with heartfelt gratitude I say thank you to the Ward 1 residents for allowing me to serve you. It has been my distinct honor to work for you. Also, a special thank you to Mayor George, the city administration, all the city workers, community partners, and my council colleagues that provided responses to my questions and worked jointly with me to help our fellow residents. I am beyond thrilled to begin my new role on January 1, 2022!!
I am a 33-year Lakewood resident. My husband Rich and I raised our children here and we love being a part of the community. My public service career expands 28 years and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to help people and have a positive impact on their lives. My ten years as a magistrate in the Lakewood Municipal Court and my time on Lakewood City Council has allowed me to engage with residents and understand the community needs. The relationships I have fostered with community partners over the years are invaluable to Lakewood's continued success and progression.