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Authority announces election for board post
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The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority has announced an election for a seat on its board of directors.

After reviewing the nominations in December, the authority chose the only two nominees that qualified: veteran board member Linda G. Townley and newcomer Jere D. Allen.

The ballots listing the two nominee's names will be mailed with bills to residential and commercial clients on Feb. 15.

The authority is responsible for providing water and sewer services to Dawson County.

It allows customers to elect board members. Every year, one of the five seats is up for election. Each term is five years.

"The authority is very unique in this," said Brooke Anderson, general manager. "Most authorities have politically appointed board members appointed by their chamber or other political entities."

To be eligible, nominees must live in Dawson County and have been an authority customer for at least two years.

They must also have shown interest by attending previous board meetings and have leadership experience on a governmental or corporate board.

In addition, nominees must have no conflicts of interest, cannot be related to any authority staff members or have been convicted of a felony.

A county native, Townley has served on the board for 25 years.

"During my tenure on the [authority] board, Etowah has grown into a progressive and well-known entity," Townley said. "We have won many accolades for our quality water and waste water treatment. The best interest of the county is dear to mine and my family's heart."

Townley currently serves as Dawson County's tax commissioner. She previously served one term as mayor of Dawsonville and nine years on the Dawson County Board of Education, including three as chair.

Allen is involved in many community activities, including serving as president of the Dahlonega Rotary Club and a board member of Rainbow Children's Home.

He has been a commercial lender at BB&T Bank on Ga. 400, since 2008. He has been a resident of Dawsonville since 2006 and is a past board member of United Way for Lumpkin County.

"I have a desire to represent and serve our citizens to promote responsible and sustainable growth while also preserving our natural resources that are vital to our livelihood and economic success," Allen said.

"I believe forward thinking strategies by objective individuals with an interest in what is best for users of our water resources are critical to our viability as a community."

The authority will include instructions with the ballots. Each individual and business can vote for just one candidate.

The results of the election will be announced at the authority's annual meeting, which is set for 4 p.m. March 13 at the administrative offices on Hwy. 53.