TORRINGTON — Rep. John Rigby participated in a roundtable discussion today regarding the possibility of consolidating probate courts in Connecticut. The meeting took place at the University of Connecticut’s campus here, and nearly two dozen local and state officials, such as Sen. Andrew Roraback, as well as probate judges discussed the social and financial implications of joining more courts. Several Litchfield County leaders groused that probate courts in this area, the majority of which have sound finances, would be further squeezed to prop up the ailing courts in bigger communities such as Bridgeport and New Haven. What’s more, Northwest Corner probate courts over the last few years have already made strides in consolidation, more than any other area of the state. Some local officials worried about how further consolidation would affect customer service, and they expressed even greater concern about whether the state would make municipalities cover consolidation costs.
Pictured above (foreground) Norfolk First Selectman Susan Dyer, left, and Harwinton First Selectman Frank Chiaramonte, right, talk about how consolidation would affect their communities. From left, Bart Russell (background) is executive director of the Council of Small Towns, Salisbury First Selectman Curtis Rand, Rigby, Winsted probate judge Alan Barber and Charles Vail, judge for the recently consolidated Northwest Corner district.