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New Suwanee Council member credits family support

Special Photo
New city council member Beth Hilscher is sworn in by City Attorney Gregory Jay.

Special Photo New city council member Beth Hilscher is sworn in by City Attorney Gregory Jay.

SUWANEE -- In her first official week on the job Beth Hilscher absorbed as much information as she could.

Hilscher had several types of orientations with city staff as she settled into her new role as a City Council member last week.

Hilshcer, a small business attorney with an office in Old Town, was sworn in at Tuesday's Council meeting. She smiled at times when she motioned for an item to pass, or seconded an action. Her husband, Steve, and two kids were on hand at the meeting, and she made sure to thank them for support and patience.

Since she announced her candidacy in May, the 14-year Suwanee resident said the timing coincided with her family being willing to take on this kind of commitment. Her children, Ryan, 15, and Emily, 12, were at the ages that she felt could handle her being on the city council, especially since she stepped away from coaching her daughter's soccer team.

"Since she stopped coaching soccer, it opened up some time and seemed to work out for us," Steve said.

The vacant seat came open in May when Jace Brooks, who had served on the council for about 10 years, resigned to run for the District 1 seat of the Gwinnett County Board of Commission.

Hilscher is the second person to be sworn in this year after Doug Ireland joined the council in January. She's the first woman to serve on the council since Jeannine Rispin in 2009.

Hilscher's husband said leadership roles are nothing new, as he recalled her being involved in residential life in college. Recently, Hilscher has served with the Downtown Development Authority and participated in the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Leadership Gwinnett.

Like many council members and residents, Hilscher said the Gateway area of Suwanee is among her top priorities.

"It's a concern of citizens and certainly a concern of mine," she said. "The police substation will certainly be a benefit over there. We want to see what we can do to improve that area."