On Monday, William Illg was officially sworn in as the Post 2 representative on the Dawsonville City Council, filling the seat recently vacated by Steve Tolson.
As he takes up the city council seat, Illg said that his main goal is to get to know the community and make the most informed decisions for the good of Dawsonville citizens.
Illg moved to Dawson County in 2019 with his wife Cassie and five-year-old son Beckett, who attends Robinson Elementary School, and works as an investment advisor and in ministry. His wife runs her own baking business, Cassie Cakes, which Illg said he helps out with when he can.
“I’m a pretty busy individual with a five-year-old, with two full-time jobs and then of course I always help my wife with her business as well,” Illg said. “Her business is growing like crazy and I’m so proud of her.”
According to Illg, stepping into a role in local politics was the furthest thing from his mind until he received a call from Steve Tolson about an open seat on the city’s planning commission board. Illg told Tolson that he didn’t know enough about ordinances or zoning to bring value to the planning commission, so instead Tolson recommended that he consider taking up the vacated seat on the city council.
“I told him what my strengths are and he talked to the mayor about me and the mayor kind of approached me with this idea,” Illg said. “So I was like ‘yeah it’s interesting; I’m open to it’, but I wanted to get more counsel, talk to my wife and talk to the other council members and see what they like and don’t like about it.”
Illg said that he slowly realized that the job was one that he could do and decided to go for it.
“I don’t wanna join something if I’m not going to be able to increase the ability of everybody else on the team; if I’m just there to be a bump on the log there’s somebody else that could be a bump on the log,” Illg said. “I wanna make everyone else around me better, and I want to increase the effectiveness of everyone that’s there.”
Because the appointment is a six-month term before the seat is officially up for re-election, Illg said that he plans to use the time as a trial period to make sure that he’s helping the council rather than hindering it.
“I have six months to figure out am I bringing some help to this or am I not; do I feel like my ideas are being used or not,” Illg said. “And if I don’t like it or feel like I’m not bringing value to the team it’s only for six months, I don’t have to run and someone else can take the position that wants to run and will bring value to the team.”
Illg said that his goal as he steps into his new role is to get to know the citizens of Dawsonville better and to do everything he can to represent what they want and need.
“I have a responsibility to the citizens in Dawsonville to know what they want,” Illg said. “It’s not just about my ideas and my experiences, cause at the end of the day I’m supposed to represent a group of people, so if I don’t know what the group of people want and desire, how am I supposed to represent them to the best of my ability?”
To Illg, the best way to approach this is by putting himself out there and meeting as many people in the community as he can.
“I want to start talking to a lot of people really quick to figure out what do you like about what Dawsonville is doing right now, what do you dislike about it, what are your concerns, what are you happy with, that sort of thing,” Illg said. “I would love to know what our citizens think of what we’re doing.”
To reach out to Illg with ideas, questions or concerns, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.