Some county officials are returning to their previous positions after last year’s elections, while others are joining the county for the first time.
In addition to Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Mecum, District 4 Commissioner Jeff Stowe and Sheriff Gerald Couch, four other people have been sworn in, including Patty Walters Laine, Darla Eden, Margaret Gregory and Charles Baker.
Patty Walters Laine
Laine is Hall County’s new probate judge. She defeated Brook Davidson in a Republican primary runoff for the four-year countywide term. She was sworn in Dec. 28.
Laine had been in private practice locally for the past 10 years, handling estate planning and probate cases.
Eden was elected tax commissioner in 2012, but she has worked for the county previously as an outside independent auditor and finance director.
She’s been a certified public accountant since 1991. As tax commissioner, Eden will help bill and collect taxes and fees, and distribute them to the correct state entities. The office also acts as the motor vehicle tag and title agent for the state of Georgia. She was sworn in Dec. 26.
Baker was re-elected clerk of court in an uncontested race after working in the clerk’s office for more than 30 years.
He is the clerk for the superior and state courts, which handle civil and criminal proceedings. The clerk also administers and retains official documents related to legal matters that include adoption, real estate, personal property transactions, trade names and appeal records.
Margaret Gregory is a familiar face in the county, having been re-elected in an uncontested race to her position as magistrate judge for the third time.
The Magistrate Court conducts hearings and trials in criminal cases, civil actions and ordinance violations for Hall County, Lake Lanier Islands, Flowery Branch and Clermont and hears applications for arrest and search warrants, according to the Hall County website.