Dawsonville City Council Member Steve Tolson has announced his resignation from the city council and is expected to vacate his seat by May 10 to move his family outside the city limits.
“We’ve realized that we need a larger home, and based on that my wife and I have decided that we have to move out of the city,” Tolson said at the meeting of the Dawsonville City Council held on May 3. "The position of city council requires that I’m a resident, so unfortunately tonight I do have to announce that I’ll be resigning from the city council effective May 10.”
Tolson’s fellow council members expressed sadness to see him step down from the council and gratitude to have been able to serve alongside him.
“It’s been an honor to serve with you, Steve,” Council Member John Walden said to Tolson during the meeting. “Right before you thought about running you sat and talked to me, and I will always cherish that friendship — I’m gonna miss you.”
Tolson was first elected to his position as Post 2 council member in November 2017 and has served on the city council since. His current term is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021, and he would have been up for re-election in November.
According to Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason, the council will appoint a new member to fill Tolson’s seat until the position is up for election in November.
“It’s difficult to find somebody nowadays that wants to serve in public office, so we’ve been talking to some people and what we’ll do is we’ll have to appoint someone,” Eason said.
Eason said that because Tolson’s term was set to expire less than 180 days after his official resignation date, Georgia law allows council members to appoint a temporary city council member to fill the empty seat until an election can be held in November.
“You don’t have to have a special election and then another general election,” Eason said. “So it looks like from the timing we’ll be able to appoint a person by council in the next few weeks and then they will qualify for the regular election for Mr. Tolson’s spot which will be in November.”
The choice of who is appointed to the seat will be made by the city council as a whole, but Tolson will have input in the decision too, Eason said.
“We will probably be appointing somebody by the first of June, I would hope, depending on when it’s firmed up by council,” Eason said.
Tolson said that while leaving his position was a difficult decision to make, he is confident that the remaining council members will continue to make the best decisions for the city.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor and I appreciate the trust in me,” Tolson said. “I continue to have trust in my peers up here, and I know that this transition will go well and they’ll pick an appropriate and suitable replacement, and things will continue to go on in the next meeting as if I were still here.”