Almost three decades have passed since Dawsonville Mayor Joe Lane Cox attended his first regional development meeting.
On Thursday, the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission he has supported throughout his career as an elected public servant saluted Cox by naming a conference room at the Gainesville center in his honor.
Cox served the 13 county commission as chairman for three terms, from 1987-1989 when he was Dawson County’s sole commissioner and again from 2005-2006 as mayor of Dawsonville.
The announcement in the form of a proclamation declaring “exceptional service” was read during the group’s August meeting held at Dawson County Middle School last week.
“The chairmanship requires dedication, commitment and an unparalleled call to regional service,” board member Kevin Tallant said.
Former chairman JB Jones and David Stovall, who is currently leading the commission, were also recognized at the meeting.
Tallant said the trio “set themselves apart by their longevity of service and commitment to the Georgia Mountains region.”
Cox, who was unable to attend the event, offered a gracious thank you to his peers on Monday.
“I’m honored they would do something like that. I’m really not deserving. I just did what I thought I had to do,” Cox said. “I always had a good relationship and always enjoyed it.”
Though he’s no longer on the board, he said he is proud of “all the good things they do.”
“It’s a great organization,” Cox said. “Plus every month, you get to sit down with other cities and counties and they can tell you what they’ve got going on, what they’ve done successful, and what didn’t work. There’s no need to try to invent the wheel when someone else can tell you what works.”
Also during Thursday’s meeting, the commission appointed Charlie
Auvermann to represent Dawson County as a standing council member.
Auvermann serves as the Executive Director of the Development Authority of Dawson County. He joins Mike Berg, Dawson County Board of Commission chair, and Calvin Byrd, Dawsonville mayor pro-tem, as the local representatives.
Will Wade from the Dawson County School Board also serves on the commission as an appointee by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
The commission’s mission is to locally promote and guide proper development of human, natural, physical, social and economic resources in the Georgia Mountains Region.
The area covers 3,500 square miles and includes Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties.