On Tuesday, March 2, the city of Dawsonville will host a “Meeting with your council member” event, providing an informal setting for residents to meet with District 2 Council Member Stephen Tolson and present him with questions and comments.
According to Tolson, one of the main goals of holding the event is to give him a feel for the community and its thoughts on the direction the city is headed in.
“In the past what I’ve done is I’ve had a little bit of an agenda worked out with topics that I wanna share with the citizens, but it’s really an opportunity to have an open forum with the city residents,” Tolson said. “They come in and it’s really their opportunity to share their opinions with me about the direction of the city and discuss what their vision for the future is.”
Tolson said that before COVID-19, he and fellow council members would often attend local events, HOA meetings and dinners with the citizens of Dawsonville to speak with city residents and hear their concerns and suggestions. But due to the pandemic, it’s been harder to hold these types of events , so he and the other council members have been doing everything they can to keep in touch with the citizens.
According to Tolson, next Tuesday’s event will give him even more insight about what city residents want and need.
“It’s been difficult to get a solid feel of what people are looking for; we utilize social media and communicate that way as well but it’s not quite the same as face-to-face,” Tolson said. “It’s not just about hearing their opinions or their concerns, but a lot of times when someone says something their emotions show on their face and you can read a lot more about their opinions and their concerns when you’re speaking to them.”
Tolson said that he looks forward to hearing any and all questions and concerns brought before him during the event.
“What I hope and suspect will happen is that it’ll confirm that my understanding of what the citizens want for the city of Dawsonville is in line with my decision-making,” Tolson said, “and if it’s not then it may be the opportunity for me to refocus my efforts and realign our decision-making with what the citizens want.”
Attendees to the event will be asked to social distance, and masks will be encouraged.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, in the council chambers at City Hall at 415 Highway 53 E. For instructions on how to join virtually, contact City Hall at (706)265-3256.