Braselton will have a part-time prosecuting attorney’s office — although things won’t really change from what’s being done now in the town’s municipal court.
The Braselton Town Council on Monday approved a resolution/ordinance creating the office, following the requirements of a new state law.
The General Assembly approved a new law during its 2012 legislative session that requires those cities and counties that have a prosecuting attorney’s office to submit a copy of their resolutions or ordinances creating the office to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia. The group will also maintain a central registry of prosecuting attorneys and municipal courts in Georgia.
Braselton already has a municipal court — which handles fines stemming from the police department. The town’s prosecuting attorneys, also called solicitors, are Elizabeth Reisner and Jennifer White.
Town manager Jennifer Dees said the state law also created the first-of-its-kind training for solicitors of municipal courts.
“In order for someone to become eligible to attend the training, they have to be appointed by mayor and council,” she explained, while adding that the decision was previously made by the town manager.
The Braselton Town Council appoints its municipal court judge, who is Graham McKinnon IV.
The new ordinance not only establishes the part-time office, but also names Reisner and White as prosecuting attorneys for Braselton’s municipal court. Anyone who is named a prosecuting attorney for the town must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia, according to the ordinance.
“This formalizes the process (with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia) and gives them the benefits that Jennifer mentioned — the training, things of that nature,” said town attorney Gregory Jay. “It really changes nothing that we do here in the town.”
Braselton has used a solicitor since 1999 or 2000, according to Dees. Prior to that, the town’s police chief also served as prosecutor for the municipal court. Police chief Terry Esco said that practice is still legal.
The creation of the prosecuting attorney’s office in Braselton doesn’t change any office space requirements for the town or change the pay for its prosecuting attorneys, according to Dees.
In other business, the Braselton Town Council:
•approved a wholesale water contract with Gwinnett County to purchase up to 2.8 million gallons a day. Braselton gets most of its water from Barrow County, followed by its wells and then water from Jackson County. Barrow and Jackson counties have cheaper water rates and Braselton only purchases water from Gwinnett County on an emergency basis. Of the 49.2 million gallons of water used in the town in May, just 700 gallons came from Gwinnett County. Last month, 25.5 million gallons came from Barrow County and 987,440 gallons came from Jackson County. Braselton’s own wells produced 22.7 million gallons of water in May, according to a monthly town report. Braselton hasn’t had a formal deal with Gwinnett County to purchase water since a previous agreement expired several years ago, according to Dees. The county and town didn’t have an agreement while Gwinnett County and its cities were involved in a years-long legal battle over shared services.
•approved a special event permit for the Braselton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for Chateau Elan’s 15th annual Vineyard Fest on Sunday, Aug. 26. Last year, the DDA was the beneficiary of the event and received $1,000, according to Dees. The authority will once again be the beneficiary of the Vineyard Fest.
•approved a resolution that would create a caterer’s license in Braselton and allow those with a permit to sell alcoholic beverages at special events. A caterer licensed by the town may get an annual permit for $200 and pay $25 for each special event in town where they serve alcohol. A caterer licensed by another jurisdiction other than the town may get a permit for $100 per an event.
•honored the West Jackson Cardinals eight and under division of the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department baseball league for being the only undefeated team in its division during the regular season. The team also won its division championship and was runner-up in a tournament with 17 wins and two losses. Its players and coaches live in Braselton. The team members are: Nicolas Blacklidge, Michael Burel, Logan Cantrell, Jonathan Cole, Aidan Conley, Evan Hubbard, Keaton Juhl, Cole Kicklighter, Isaiah Maxey, Benjamin Meadows, Michael Noel II, Walker Pangle, JT Sosebee and Derek “D” Vaughn. The coaches are: Chris Meadows, Butch Maxey, Heath Kicklighter and Kelly Juhl. The town council passed a resolution honoring the team.