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In Touch With Your Dawson County Government

April 2017

County Manager David Headley

According to Samuel Weil, “The backbone of any effort to transform a county into a county of the future is economic development.  Economic development is built upon three key elements: brand, asset leverage and transportation.” The key to strategic growth is identifying these foundational components and insuring their success.

Commercial businesses are the foundation of a strong economy. Dawson County needs to provide attractive incentives that lure businesses to our area. In addition, we need to provide an environment that supports “mom and pop” shops. In order to distinguish our county from others, we need a balance of both small businesses and industrial development coming into our borders.

Vibrant neighborhoods are extremely important in ensuring a healthy future for Dawson County’s next generation. With this in mind, local leaders need to promote and administer projects that encourage younger generations to remain here, while enticing prospective residents to come.

Establishing the right brand and line-up of initiatives will create efficiency. Also, continual development of our transportation system will ensure stability and growth. I am not suggesting that we need a full redesign of our transportation plan. However, I am suggesting that the time to turn our dream of a future county into a reality is now, and this is accomplished by all of us playing a part in doing some foundation planning early on in our transition.

Obviously, Dawson County has diverse needs based on the unique requirements of its citizens. In order to have a better understanding of what these needs and requirements are for our county, the Board of Commissioners has created a mechanism that continuously involves residents’ participation through long range planning committees and various boards. This process allows a progression of ideas to be considered, weighing the impact they will have on the people and what matters to them. Likewise, this system creates avenues in which citizens can provide valuable feedback.

In regards to the transportation component, our Public Works Department strives to ensure that transit paths are efficient as possible throughout the county. Because of their leadership, we are able to have a finger on the pulse of our transportation and infrastructure needs as we move into the future.

The three fundamental components of economic stability are alive in Dawson County. Because of this and the dedication and service of our citizens, leadership body, and employees, we can be assured that there will be good times ahead as we move towards a county of the future.


Employee Anniversaries

20 Years

Steven Swofford, Sheriff's Office

10 Years

Zach Stewart, Sheriff's Office

5 Years

Jennifer Jackson, Parks & Recreation
Nikki Martin, Clerk of Court
Dawn Pruett, Senior Services



People on the Move...

New Hires

Susan Pickren, Clerk of Court, Deputy Clerk - Real Estate
Morgan Voyles, Sheriff's Office, Communications Officer
Andrew Lovingood, Sheriff's Office, Detention Officer
Zachary Totherow, Sheriff's Office, Deputy
Joan Palazzolo, Treatment Court, Counselor
Thomas Johnson, Planning & Development, Building Inspector

Camron Chester, Parks & Recreation, Maintenance
William Griffith, Sheriff's Office, Communications Officer
John Kormos, Sheriff's Office, Detention Officer


Randall Mullis, Sheriff's Office, Corporal

H.R. News


EMS Firefighter/EMT Tyler Thurmond and his wife, Courtney, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Tanner Kate Thurmond. Tanner was born on February 18, 2017. She weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Congratulations to Tyler and Courtney!

Congratulations also to proud "Gamma" Rachelle Thurmond (Board of Elections and Voter Registration).

Thank you, Tom Foley!

The Board of Elections & Registration would like to recognize Thomas (Tom) F. Foley for his eighteen years of service to this board, and to the citizens of Dawson County. Tom is one of two Democratic appointees to the board. He is the longest running board member, from the initial formation in 1998 when it became a combined board of Elections & Registration until his resignation in November 2016.

The Board of Elections & Registration honored Tom with a special St. Patrick’s Day appreciation on March 15, 2017 (proud Irishman). Present and past board members joined us, along with Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix, family, colleagues and friends.  Thanks to all who shared in making it a special celebration.

We thank you, Tom, for your many years of tireless service.  We wish you the very best.

Congratulations to Joey Carder!

Congratulations to Parks and Recreation Athletic Director Joey Carder for completing his Masters of Public Administration from Walden University. We are very proud of Joey and his academic accomplishments.

Emergency Services

Pictured (L to R): Fire Station #8 volunteers Dennis LaGatta and Lt. John Tarantini

Fire Station #8 Volunteers Lt. John Tarantini and Dennis LaGatta installed a fire danger rating sign at the intersection of Monument Road and Hwy 136, outside of the DOT right-of-way.  Members of Fire Station #8 will maintain it and post the fire danger rating based off of the Georgia Forestry Commission website. The sign was provided by The U.S. Forest Service and is a part of Wildcat Communities ongoing FireWise® effort.

War Hill Park Camping Season: Begins Saturday, April 1st

Click here for online reservations.

Fall Sports Registration: Beginning Monday, April 3rd

2017 Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy Begins Tuesday, April 11th

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce its 
2017 Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy!

This year's course will run for 6 consecutive weeks beginning Tuesday, April 11th.

The Academy is free of charge and is open to Dawson County residents. This informational course is designed to help familiarize members of our community with the roles and responsibilities of their law enforcement officers.

Attendees will be introduced to all aspects of the Sheriff's Office, including a thorough overview of all enforcement components. Participants will have the opportunity to actively participate in simulated incidents ranging from an officer’s first response to crime scene processing to detention operations.

Please contact Anne Martin or call (706) 344-3535 for eligibility requirements and registration.

Come join us and learn more about YOUR law enforcement operations in Dawson County.

Parks & Recreation: F.I.T. begins Tuesday, April 11th

Goodwill Job Fair: Wednesday, April 12th

4-H Fundraiser: Order by Friday, April 14th

Kindergarten Registration: Friday, April 14th

Kindergarten Registration Resource Fair: Friday, April 14th

31st Annual Community Egg Hunt: Saturday, April 15th

CPR Training: Saturday, April 22nd

Dawson County Emergency Services will be hosting a CPR class for the community on Saturday, April 22nd from 1:00PM to 4:30PM at Fire Station #2, 145 Liberty Drive, Dawsonville, GA 30534. The cost is $6 per person and will be due upon completion of the course. Class size will be limited to 12 people. Anyone wishing to attend must RSVP by e-mail to emergencyservices@dawsoncounty.org.

Community Connections Workshop: Tuesday, April 18th

Pancake Breakfast: Saturday, April 22nd

The Pancake Breakfast is an annual fundraising event and is open to the public.

For more information, please email Don Brown or call 678-779-2584.

4-H Rabies Clinic: Saturday, April 22nd

Foster Parenting Info Meeting: Monday, April 24th

Farmers Market: Friday, April 28th

Vendors are still needed. Contact Clark MacAllister or call 706-265-2442 for vendor information and application.

Wee Books Barn Dance: Saturday, April 29th

Wee Books Barn Dance Sonsors Needed

Parks & Recreation

Emergency Services

On Saturday, March 11th, career and volunteer members of Dawson County Emergency Services spent the morning honing their vehicle extrication skills. Thanks to the generosity of Mark Crane and Crane Used Cars and Salvage for the donation of the vehicles for the class. Participants discussed and practiced skills in relation to opening a variety of types of vehicles involved in serious crashes.

Senior Services

Senior clients celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a fun party! Bill Cain provided the entertainment. Bill is a Meals on Wheels driver for the Senior Center.

Emergency Services

Attending this year's event (pictured above, left to right): Austin Martin, Brandon Carey, Tiffany Cramer, Stacy Jordan, Anita Jolly, Lanier Swafford, Benjie Ensley, James Key, Justin Williams, Taylor Hulme, and Adam Gilreath. (Not pictured – Danny Speaks).

On Friday, March 10th, members of Dawson County Emergency Services attended the 9th Annual STEMI Summit, sponsored by Northeast Georgia Medical Center. This event is one of the largest healthcare conferences in the state. Presentations were offered throughout the day by experts from across the country, focusing on the latest in cardiac care and cardiac arrest resuscitation. They also included success stories of individuals who are alive today because of the comprehensive, nationally recognized STEMI (ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction) program in place here in Northeast Georgia. 

Dawson County Emergency Services partners with Northeast Georgia Medical Center on several programs concerning cardiac care. Numerous DCES staff members have been recognized by physicians for their early field diagnosis and care of cardiac patients. 

Family Connection

Family Connection

Dawson County Historical Society

Dawson County Library: April 2017

For more information, download the Dawson County Library Newsletter or visit the Dawson County Library website.

Information for Veterans

Click here for information regarding meetings across Dawson County, or visit Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 970.

You may also contact:

Wayne Watkins, Chapter President
Dawson Co. Chapter 970

Assistance for Veterans from Georgia Department of Labor

Veteran Services

Welcome to our New Businesses

New Commercial Business Licensing

413 Telecomm Dawsonville – Retail Phones
66 South 400 Center, Suite 155

Alliance Property Services of Georgia – Property Management
66 South 400 Center Lane, Suite 205-210

Georgia Concrete Supply – Retail Concrete
82 American Way

Outside World Outfitters – Retail Sports Equipment
471 Quill Drive, Suite 100

My Running Store – Retail – Sportswear/shoes
391 Quill Drive, Suite 120

Shanel Nichole Hair Studio – Hair Salon
145 Forest Boulevard, Suite 460

Sky Acres – Horse Arena/Events
222 Bailey Waters Road

Sky Acres Farm - Stables
222 Bailey Waters Road

Southern Select Properties – Real Estate Broker
133 Prominence Court, Suite 140

The Vaperz Den – Vape Shop
391 Quill Drive, Suite 130

Unhinged ATV – Online Sales
30 Industrial Park Road

We Care Windshield Repair – Mobile Windshield Repair
104 Highway 400 South

New Home-Based Business Licensing

Austin Higginbotham – Window Sales
305 Brynbrooke Drive

Drake US – Dump Truck Services
210 Matheson Drive

My Roofer – Roofing Services
135 Deep Forest Trail

Georgia Views Realty – Real Estate Broker
411 McElroy Mountain Drive

Wholesale Ornamental – Wrought Iron Gate Sales
201 Chestatee View Drive

J & D Flooring – Flooring Contractor
2106 Frank Bruce Road

LED Upgrade Solutions – LED Lighting Retrofitting
52 Conversion Point

Tails Waggin Inn – Pet Sitting
21 Chateau Hills Drive

Jam Sessions – Consulting Services
1163 New Bethel Church Road

Southern Investments – Consulting Services
1163 New Bethel Church Road

McPherson Trucking – Trucking Company
88 Bethelview Ridge

Mountain View Trails – Horseback Riding
222 Bailey Waters Road

Peak Boutique – Online Sales
88 Toto Creek Drive West

Taz Transportation – Trucking Company
254 Freeland Road

Tony Esposito – Window & Pressure Washing
936 Vandiviere Road