The Dawson County Civic Association, formerly known as the Dawson County Homeowners Civic Association, met Saturday for their first meeting under a new name and voted on new leadership.
Jane Graves conducted the group's annual meeting as the outgoing homeowners association president.
Graves was in charge of revamping the group and making the name more inclusive by dropping the word "homeowners," and emphasized during opening remarks the importance of city residents in the group.
"The city of Dawsonville lies completely within the borders of our county," Graves said. "City residents pay county taxes and they receive revenue from the county. So we welcome working with members who live in the city and all areas of the county, whether you own your property or you rent it."
Graves presided over the meeting in which members approved the amended bylaws and a new board of directors.
Replacing Graves as president is Tony Passarello, who has lived in the county for four years. Passarello was also recently appointed to serve on the board of the Development Authority of Dawson County.
Passarello said he is very optimistic and excited to get started with the association because he feels the group has an opportunity to reinvent themselves.
Passarello presented three goals he has for the group under his leadership: to be relevant, transparent and inclusive.
"Our association will strive to be inclusive- to me this is the key element," Passarello said. "I believe that it is the combined experiences of all Dawson County citizens that will allow us to serve our goals the best...we must represent all of our members, not just a few."
Other officers include Mike Miller as treasurer and Margie Obyrne as secretary. Candidacy for the vice president spot is still open.
Also on the association's board of directors are Ronnie Adkins, Lionel Graves, Mike Ingram, Mark Kunder and Graves as immediate past president.
The meeting was held at the board of education's professional development center in downtown Dawsonville. Guest speakers at the meeting were Billy Thurmond, chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, and David Headley, county manager. Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan was scheduled to speak but did not attend.
Headley and Thurmond both spoke about the county commission's plans to re-evaluate the Future Land Use Plan as well as re-establish a long-term planning commission to help address the issue of growth within the county.
Thurmond also stated that the board wishes to review the county ordinances, think about what kind of industry the county should be looking to attract, explore other methods of funding including revisiting impact fees, and mentioned that the county needs new members and new perspectives rotating on its 17 different boards and authorities.
Dues for the association are $10 a year, and anyone who owns or rents a home in the county can become a member.