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Eason wins reelection, ESPLOST passes
mike eason
Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason at the Aug. 2 food truck night. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Mike Eason will retain his office as Mayor of Dawsonville for a second term. The incumbent won reelection by a final vote of 276-118, claiming 69.87% of the votes. This becomes Eason’s first full term in office, having taken the job from former mayor James Grogan.

The race saw both candidates getting out into the community to knock on doors and answer questions.

“I was able to knock on a lot of doors, talk to a lot of people,” said Eason. “I think what I saw when I was talking to people was the welcoming nature that makes Dawsonville so great.”

Eason said he was welcomed into people’s homes, invited to dinner, and got to talk to people about the issues that they care about the most.

Wright, likewise, spent his campaign connecting with citizens.

“I think the campaign went fantastic,” said Wright. “Hearing out what our citizens had to say and some of the big issues that Dawsonville is facing — high-density housing, our business growth, and issues like that — it’s really great to hear these issues coming from our city residents, and hopefully we can in the office and fix some of those issues that they have.”

The other major issue on the ballot was the countywide referendum on the educational special local option sales tax (ESPLOST). The referendum, which proposed a 1% sales tax across Dawson County to fund capital projects for the schools, passed 966-289, netting an overwhelming 76.97% of the vote.

The Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other organizations, played a pivotal role in the push for ESPLOST, which is now approved for its sixth iteration. The Chamber’s board voted in August to become public supporters of the ESPLOST initiative, and have hosted talks about the benefits of such an initiative over the past few months.

“Our business community understands that having a strong workforce and community is directly tied to having a strong school system,” said Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore. “Advocating for ESPLOST is a way for the Chamber to support increased student opportunities, a stronger workforce, and a brighter future for Dawson County’s children, while limiting the financial burden on property owners.”

The referendum caps the tax at five years or $48 million, whichever comes first.

The other positions on the ballot were Dawsonville City Council posts 1 and 3. Caleb Phillips and John Walden, of posts 1 and 3, respectively, both ran unopposed.