Dawsonville voters sent a clear message to city hall on July 31: We want James Grogan as our mayor.
Grogan scooped up 61 percent of the 514 votes cast. His opponent, Calvin Byrd, received 38 percent, and approximately 1 percent of the votes were write-ins.
A brief swearing-in ceremony was held Monday, Aug. 6, at the Dawsonville City Hall during the councils regularly scheduled meeting.
During the ceremony, Grogan was clearly misty-eyed as his family surrounded him while he repeated the oath of office administered by City Attorney Dana Miles.
"This is the culmination of months of hard work," Grogan said. He had served the city as mayor pro-tem since the passing of Joe Lane Cox on March 9.
During the first official city council meeting under Grogan's tutelage, the council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to amend the city's alcohol ordinance. No one had spoken for or against the ordinance during the public hearing portion of the reading.
A second reading will be held Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. at city hall. If approved, the next step is for a referendum to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.
If voters approve, restaurants and hotels within the city will be on equal footing with the county and will be allowed to sell alcohol, including distilled spirits, on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to midnight.
The city currently allows the sale of wine and beer during these hours, as does the county. The county passed a similar referendum earlier this year and currently allows the sale of distilled spirits on Sunday.
During the mayor's report portion, Grogan highlighted several events: The Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority, chaired by Nick Niccodemus, recently facilitated a loan to the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery owner, Cheryl Wood. Grogan said the loan serves as a conduit for getting the distillery opened. He also noted:
The upcoming installation of the new Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President, Christie Haynes, on Aug. 20
A 70-mile memorial motorcycle ride for the family of Griffin and Jake Prince on Aug. 11, beginning in Lumpkin County and ending at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
The 5th annual Lakewood Reunion to remember the "Indianapolis of the South." Grogan said more than 300 people are expected.
The Farmington Woods apartment complex on Perimeter Road broke ground on Aug. 6.
The Downtown Development Authority will meet Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
"The city is filled with activity and energy," the mayor said. "We all need to get involved and do something." The city council also:
Approved a special called meeting for Sept. 20 at 5 p.m.
Approved training courses for City Clerk Bonnie Warne and council members Jason Power and Chris Gaines.
Agreed to write off $3,327.36 in water department bad debt.
Approved a speed zone ordinance amendment that will allow local law enforcement to set up radar along portions of Hwy. 9 and Hwy. 53.