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State celebrates ACCGs centennial anniversary
4 ACCG pic
Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg thanks members of the state Senate on Tuesday for recognizing the 100th anniversary of Association County Commissioners of Georgia, of which Berg serves as president. Sen. Steve Gooch, right, sponsored the Senate resolution. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

ATLANTA - It was 100 years ago that county commissioners in Georgia came together in support of committing funds to improve roads and create the state's first highway department.

On Tuesday, lawmakers recognized that effort and commended the Association County Commissioners of Georgia as a "respected legislative advocate for and voice of Georgia's 159 counties."

Resolutions celebrating the association's centennial anniversary were read in both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly.

Mike Berg, president of the association and chairman of the Dawson County commission, thanked the legislators for the honor.

"Thank you on behalf of the commissioners of the counties in the state of Georgia for honoring us to day with a resolution on the occasion of our 100th anniversary," he said with ACCG Executive Director Ross King and the organization's executive board by his side.

"We all do better when we work together and so I thank you for the partnership you've shown in the past for the future ... so that we can all work together for the citizens of Georgia."

Sen. Steve Gooch, a former Lumpkin County commissioner who now represents the state's 51st district, said he was glad to sponsor the resolution in the Senate.

"It's a pleasure to be here this morning to celebrate the 100-year birthday of such a fine organization that you all rely on so much for information pertaining to the lives of people," he said.

In addition to applauding the association's work, Gooch recognized Berg's commitment to the organization and Dawson County.

"That position that Mike is holding right now is very important to not only the association, but I think it's important to Dawson County," he said. "I don't know that the citizens really know how important that job is. Mike is in a unique position there and an opportunity that a lot of counties never get."

Rep. Lynne Riley, R-Johns Creek, sponsored the resolution in the House of Representatives.

Formed in 1914, the association works on behalf of officials and their communities by providing public policy and legislative advocacy, civic and community engagement initiatives and leadership development, as well as cost-saving measures.

Berg is the association's first president from northeast Georgia, and the first from a small city north of metro Atlanta. During the last year, he has traveled countless miles to visit counties and "get a true sense of what the state is like."

"While different by location, all have a common vision of helping their communities and their constituents," he said. "It gives you something you'd never get if you weren't in that position and gives you contacts that you would not have otherwise."

Having those connections also has the ability, he said, to enhance Dawson County as a destination for economic development and prosperity.

"Overall, from our aspect, that's one of the things I gained through this," he said.

Among the association's accomplishments in the past year are a complete rebranding that reflects where the group is now and where it wants to be in the future.

"We made a lot of progress this year," said Berg, whose term ends in April. "We've done things ... that have not been done before and will not be done again."