A Justice of the Peace is an elected position and serves as a sort of people’s court for the average citizen. It’s where you and I go to get minor disputes settled quickly. The JP handles Class C misdemeanors that are punishable by fine only, and civil disputes up to $10,000. They also marry people and handle truancy cases.
The latter is where I knew William's background as a probation officer would come to be a great asset.
“As an adult probation officer in Travis County for 4 years I saw first hand what happens when people drop out of school and don’t go on to college or a trade school,” says Peché. “I have two young sons myself. Not only do I want the best for them but I also want the best for the children of Bexar County and I know that it all starts with a good education.”
Currently the Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3 is only a part time court. In a county of 1.6 million people William will make it into a full time position, especially to dedicate more time to addressing truancy in Precinct 3, which encompasses much of the North side.
“Since the JP is community justice,” says Peché, “the JP needs to get out in the community. I want to talk with schoolteachers, principals, superintendents and at-risk kids. We need to talk with them before they hit the justice system. Because by the time they get to court, often it's too late. Truancy needs to be addressed proactively."
“I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility,” says Peché. “That’s a big part of what I’m going to consider. I will hear all the facts but I don’t want to hear too many excuses. I want kids to know what they did was wrong and take responsibility for it. I had the same philosophy as a probation officer – be fair but tough when you need to be.”
“I am going to work with these kids,” continues Peché, “to let them know that simply because they’re in trouble doesn’t mean they just get punished and it's over, but also that they have to change their behavior and really work to change it. Truancy has far reaching effects from high dropout rates to increased dependence on social services to high crime rates. We definitely have a vested interest to educate our kids. An educated workforce brings jobs, economic development and opportunity to our city.”
William spent 7 years on Capitol Hill as a congressional aide and legislative director for several high profile congressmen. He advocated for the people and helped these officials get initiatives through Congress and funding for much needed programs here at home. I truly believe he’s ready to take this next step to go from behind the desk to behind the bench.
His goals to reduce truancy and make the JP in Precinct 3 full time tie into his strong belief in justice. "Justice is involved, justice is visible," continues Peché. "The community needs to know it's there. People need to know they have access to justice. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors and most people didn’t know they even had a JP or how I would serve them.”
“I think positively,” says Peché. “So when I win this election I’m going to be a fair judge and I’m going to listen to the people in my Precinct. When people go to the Justice of the Peace they will get their day in court. They will get their say.”
But more than just a sitting judge I also believe that William will get out from behind the bench and advocate for our community. I believe he will work for our children to make a difference in their lives and help them become good citizens.
You can vote for William Peché for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 in the March 3rd primary election. It will be down ballot, so be sure to scroll pages until you see his name. You can check the link below to see if he would be your JP.