French Creek, Mina Move Forward On Shared Justice

FRENCH CREEK — The towns of French Creek and Mina are one step closer to having a shared town justice position.

Rebecca N. Brumagin, Mina supervisor, said last month both towns held a public hearing and approved that each town would participate in a joint plan to form one town justice position. She said the town of French Creek will hold its meeting Monday and the town of Mina will meet Thursday. She added it’s expected both town boards will vote to approve the draft joint plan and a resolution eliminating the town justice position for each town in order to create a joint town justice position.

“The resolutions will provide for the election of one justice,” she said.

If each town approves the necessary resolutions next week, then home rule legislation will be sent to the state Legislature to be approved to create the new joint town justice position.

If both towns pass a resolution to have just one justice, Brumagin said it would put the next justice on a new election cycle, which would be held in November 2020, with the new four-year term starting Jan. 1, 2021.

In July, David White, French Creek supervisor, said the proposal to combine town courts is because the town of French Creek’s last justice retired and it was difficult to find someone willing to fill the town government position. He estimates the proposal could also save the town between $4,000 to $5,000 a year.

If the proposal is passed, the court for both towns will be held in the Mina Community Center, located at 2883 North Road, Findley Lake. Both towns have completed a feasibility study on combining both courts. The study had input from Denis Cooper, Mina town justice.