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Council members welcomed

POSTED: January 4, 2012 4:00 a.m.

There will be a changing of the guard Monday night as two new members take their seats on the Dawsonville City Council.

Political newcomers Chris Gaines and Jason Power were elected to the council in November, unseating incumbents Mike Sosebee and Mike Wilson.

Mayor Joe Lane Cox did not have opposition in his re-election bid.

Power was the top vote-getter in November, with 35.6 percent to Gaines' 28.1 percent. The two seats went to the candidates with the most votes.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to serve the city of Dawsonville, and I'm excited about the potential to do good things for the city," Power said.

Gaines, a small business owner and insurance agent, said he is looking forward to his role on the city's five-member governing body.

"I'm excited about being able to help shape the city," he said. "In the next four years, I think there's going to be a lot of changes that are coming in the city."

Gaines said he plans to take advantage of the prior council's experience as he makes decisions on behalf of city residents.

"I want to tell them thank you for their service and encourage them to stay involved," Gaines said. "I'll definitely be counting on them for their experience and knowledge."

Wilson said he has no intention of dropping out of local politics and is proud of what Dawsonville accomplished during his two four-year terms.

"I'm especially proud of the sidewalks we got through downtown, and I hope the new council continues to see that as a top priority project," Wilson said. "The sidewalks are a real benefit to the city and so many young kids are using them every day."

Sosebee, who served on the council from 1980-2001 and 2004-11, said he is also proud of the city's accomplishments, specifically those of the last decade.

"We went from a little, one-room meeting room to having the grand city complex," he said. "We made upgrades and have a state-of-the-art water system.

"There's a lot I'm proud of, and I've enjoyed being a part of making decisions for the people of Dawsonville. I think we done a good job."

Gaines said one of his first orders of business will be to get acquainted with the city's rules, regulations and guidelines.

"I'm really going to study up on the ordinances to know what they are," he said.

He's also planning to tour Dawsonville's water and sewer facilities and intends to review the city budget.

"We have a [Local Option Sales Tax] agreement [with the county] coming up, so I'm going to start doing some preliminary research on that," Gaines said.

Wilson encouraged the new councilmen to continue working closely with county officials for the betterment of all residents.

Power agrees those relationships are important.

"I look forward to working with the county," he said. "The relationships I've already developed will be vital as we move ahead."

A public ceremony to swear in the new councilmen will be held before the 5 p.m. meeting Monday in the G.L. "Pete" Gilleland Council Chambers at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.

Gaines said the public is also invited to a short reception after the meeting.

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