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Three residents tapped for panel
Graves wants to stir job creation
Graves council pic 1
U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, left, visited Dawsonville on Monday morning during a tour of the 9th Congressional District. Also pictured is state Sen. Chip Pearson, center, and Johnny Burt, who Graves announced would be joining his economic advisory council. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

A group of local business leaders agreed earlier this week to sit on an economic advisory council for the 9th Congressional District.


Congressman Tom Graves announced the advisory council Monday morning during a tour of each county in the district.


Graves was sworn in as the district’s representative June 14. He won the special election to fill the unexpired term of Nathan Deal, who resigned to run for governor.


Graves, who also is seeking the Republican nomination for the House seat in the July 20 primary, called the council a grassroots initiative aimed at creating jobs and igniting entrepreneurs.


It will feature about 75 volunteer members from across the 15-county district.


“For too long Washington has kind of put a wall up and hasn’t been listening to the people,” Graves said during a stop in Dawsonville.


“We are going to ... tear down that wall and bring ideas from the local communities up, as opposed to the top down, that will provide the feedback to me of what is in the way.”


Dawson County’s members on the council are Clint Bearden, Johnny Burt and Calvin Byrd.


Burt, a local entrepreneur, thanked Graves for creating the council, which he said is one way to restore the public’s confidence in government.


State Sen. Chip Pearson of Dawsonville is spearheading the council, which will act as a liaison between the district’s business communities and Graves in Washington.


Pearson said he looked forward to going “out in the community with the folks ... that create the jobs, that pay the taxes ... and actually get the ideas that will be the ones that are productive in turning this around.”


“This is the first step in a big effort,” he said.


The council will hold monthly conference calls and quarterly meetings. The first session is scheduled for late August.