Community Connections

Pot Luck Dinner and General Meeting

June 23, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

T.C. Rec. & Conference Center   The annual June membership/dinner meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. by Pres. Noel Turner.  Ben Lily led the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and Billie Snipes did the invocation. The Association provided ham and chicken tenders, paper supplies, water and lemonade.  Side dishes and desserts were brought by members. Fifty members signed in as well as 13 guests. Seven new members filled out forms and paid dues. John Cornett, Head Football Coach at T.C. High School, introduced the three football players with him and talked about coming to this beautiful area, the team, and an upcoming fund-raiser on the square. Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw spoke about the county: auditors were just here and found no problems, the county in good shape, moneywise; ball fields at new Rec. Center being finished and a new field house being built at the lower field by Mining Gap entrance; the beach house rest rooms have been refurbished  and the building repainted; all this was done with detainee labor. He has rented a flashing billboard on line between Fannin and Gilmer counties telling about Towns County; the High School Bass Tournament will be coming back to T.C. next year; he is meeting with Sen. Wilkinson about a turn lane along Hwy. 76 from the Hayesville junction to GMF; and talked about the eclipse bringing in thousands of people to our county—motels are already booked. Liz Ruf, CASA, talked about the need for foster parents in Towns County. They have had 47 children in the county this year that had to be placed in other counties because of the lack of Towns foster families. TVA Watershed Rep. Scott Ledford, was present instead of Chris Cooper, who was dealing with TVA emergency flooding in the system. He couldn’t answer the questions asked, but they were written down to pass on to Cooper. Noel recognized LaJean and SuSu for their work on the Benefits for the Hamilton Garden the last two years, bringing in much needed project money for the Gardens. LaJean asked members to sign up for a 10-person Social Committee to help with TCHA projects. In the TCHA business portion of meeting, two By-Laws were approved by the membership: Article 12 General Provisions & Definitions, Section 7: Deleted from By-Laws; Article 4, Section 2 (d) Duties of the Treasurer was changed as follows: “Checks shall require one of the following signatures, the Treasurer, the Secretary, or the President.” Slate of officers and directors voted into office: Pres. Noel Turner; V.P. SuSu Davis, Treasurer Jan Kowalsky, Secretary Joan Crothers; Directors: Don Berry, Richard Klotzbier, Ken Manwaring, Michael Courey. Meeting adjourned.

Clean Sweep trash pickup

Meet at Old Rec Center (Historical Society) Bldg. Bring gloves and “grabbers” April 21, 2017 – 9:30 a.m.

General Meeting January 27, 2017

  TCHA Membership meeting was held at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Recreation & Conference Center, located on Mining Gap Rd. Joan took membership renewals and new memberships as everyone entered.  62 members and 34 guests did sign in, but a number went to a second door, which was locked, and because it was cold, they were let in. Next time we need a sign on that door saying, “Go to other door.”   Dinner began at 6 p.m.; the Association provided beverages, silverware, plates, cups, ice, and chicken tenders and ham. Members brought side dishes and dessert. It was a good dinner.   Marsha Elliott and Frank Riley set up a FireWise display; Grace Howard set up a Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge display; and Noel set up a TCHA display; all near the front door.   Starting the meeting, Noel welcomed members, public, and guest speakers: Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw; Sheriff Chris Clinton; HRWC Director Callie Moore; TVA Natural Resources Director Chris Cooper; DNR Steve Seitz, Ranger Dave Webb, and Kemmy Garrett; and local CG Aux. Flotilla 23 Cdr. John Nixon. All described what they do in regard to Lake Chatuge.  Then there was a Q & A. period.   Commissioner thanked TCHA and the others who work to keep the lake water clean—so important for tourism. Sheriff helps TVA and DNR with enforcement on lake—call him with problems @ 706-781-4070, his cell. Callie is working presently on Owl Creek with a Mitigation Corp. studying impact of moving roads near streams—first study of its kind in state. DNA Seitz and Webb said there are 2,221 boats registered in T.C. They work with Coast Guard on free Boat Safety classes in summer. TVA Kemmy Garrett is local, takes care of areas around lake; when asked, Cooper said he didn’t think TVA policy on lake level would change any time soon. “When water downstream gets too hot, they pull cold water from north.” [I thought our water runs north?] Their police force in Murphy relies on local Sheriffs, call 1-800-TVA-LAND. Nixon said Coast Guard Aux. works with DNR on boating safety classes, patrols lake on weekends and holidays, does free vessel inspections and does search & rescue on lake. Wake board boats cause erosion at shoreline; Aux. could & would do monitoring on lake, but members need training.   Callie talked more about work done by HRWC, no sign of e-coli in lake; they need more volunteers and grants. Noel gave them a $500 check from TCHA.   A slide show highlighted muddy water in Lake Chatuge on a busy summer day and many scenes of eroded shoreline.   Announcement: Grace Howard talked about Clean Sweep Week (April 15-22) in Towns County and introduced new leader for that, J.C. Berrong.  

General Meeting, June 24, 2016

  TCHA Membership and Elections meeting was held at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Civic Center, located in Hiawassee. LaJean and Joan took membership renewals and new memberships as everyone entered since the Treasurer was out of town.   Dinner began at 6 p.m.; the Association provided beverages, silverware, plates, cups, ice, and chicken tenders and ham. Members brought side dishes and dessert. Ina Kozesky coordinated the food, but said this would be her last time due to health reasons.   Noel welcomed members and guests attending (there were more than the 60 that signed in) and introduced the guests: State Sen. John Wilkinson, Rabun Co. Water & Sewer Authority Manager Brendan Thompson, Hiawassee City Council members Anne Mitchell and Liz Ordiales, and candidates: Matt Gurtler, Henry Chambers, Nathan Hughes, and Cliff Bradshaw.   Jim Hancock, VP and Nominating Committee Chairperson, submitted the slate of officers for the term July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017: – Noel Turner – President (re-elect thru 2017) – Dean Owens – Vice President (re-elect thru 2017) – Don Berry – Director (re-elect thru June 2018) – Richard Klotzbier – Director (elect thru June 2018) – Joan Crothers – Secretary (re-elect thru 2017) – Jan Kowalsky – Treasurer (re-elect thru 2017) – SuSu Davis – Director (current term thru 2017) – Margaret Guthman – Director (current term thru 2017) Nominees were asked for from the floor from TCHA members; there being none, the slate presented was voted into office.   Also voted on was a By-Law change to Article 8, Paragraph 1, changing the wording so the Vice President is not the chairman of the Nominating Committee, but can be a member. Vote was unanimous for this change.   Grace Howard gave a background on the Hamilton Gardens at the GMF being managed by a board of local concerned citizens. She thanked all who had come to the recent (4/30/16) benefit to raise money and especially LaJean Turner who headed up the event sponsored by TCHA that raised $13K.   Noel gave a summary of 2016 accomplishments and goals for TCHA; asked Hiawassee City residents to sign up for the alcohol referendum to bring more money into the City; and showed the new rack cards for TCHA.   He then introduced Brendan Thompson, now general manager of a consolidated water system in Rabun County, something that could possibly save money for Towns County citizens, rather than having the three separate water entities now in place: City of Hiawassee, Towns County Water & Sewerage Authority (separate from County control), and City of Young Harris.   Thompson talked about the benefits and problems Rabun County has been through combining water systems, and still lacks having the City of Clayton join in this.   Senator John Wilkinson was next on the agenda and said he would do all he possibly could to help Towns County, but it is up to the residents to decide what to do on this matter and how it should be accomplished.   Noel gave 3 minutes to speak to each of the four candidates present.
City of Hiawassee Election News – Two of our TCHA members have been elected to serve on the City Council for Hiawassee  – Anne Mitchell and Liz Ordiales. Congratulations Anne and Liz. City of Young Harris Election News – Liquor by the drink approved by the voters, to be effective once adopted by the City of Young Harris City Council. Friday, Nov. 13th, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle will speak at 8:30 a.m. at the Civic Center (Old Senior Center adjacent to the Courthouse). Mr. Cagle’s focus is on Education.  Saturday, Nov. 14th will be Clean up day. The City of Hiawassee clean up will meet at the gazebo at 8:30 a.m., and the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition will meet at the beach at 9:00 a.m. If you have a spare hour Saturday morning, please join us in cleaning up our city. “The Lake Chatuge Shoreline Cleanup will kick off at 9:00 a.m. at The Towns County Swim Beach Pavilion with breakfast and coffee. The first 100 volunteers will receive a free Rivers Alive t-shirt. Volunteer coordinators will lead teams to designated trash sites along the shores of Lake Chatuge and we’ll meet back at the Swim Beach Pavilion at 12:00pm for prizes and pizza donated by Papas Pizza To-Go in Hiawassee. Prizes will be awarded to volunteers that collect the most trash, find the most unique items, and find the hidden trash treasure. This year’s prizes include a four-hour ski boat rental and equipment from Young Harris Water Sports, a two-hour pontoon boat rental from The Ridges Resort & Marina, buffet & drink gift certificates to Downtown Pizza, and concert tickets from the Georgia Mountain Fair.”

Hiawassee City Council Candidate Forum

HIAWASSEE CANDIDATES FORUM 10-26-15 # 6 The candidate forum, held at the senior center on October 26, 2015, was well attended by concerned citizens of the city.  The standing room only crowd at the senior center enjoyed spirited discussions on how to improve our city. There were four candidates present, including one incumbent. Three candidates, including two incumbents, were not in attendance. The Towns County Herald also was not represented at the forum.  With over 100 citizens present, the forum was the major political event of the year in the city.  Our elected officials and our only newspaper owe it to the community to be transparent and accountable to the citizens.  How do we know what they stand for when they are not willing to interact and report to the citizenry? The forum was co-sponsored by Towns County Homeowners Association and the Mountain Movers and Shakers.  Both organizations are making their best efforts to ensure that the citizens of Towns County are informed and part of the decision making process for our future.  The Towns County Homeowners Association currently has members attending all city and county meetings, interacting with public officials and expressing our opinions.  We can make a difference, but it takes an active citizenry to be effective. Early voting is taking place in the City of Hiawassee and the City of Young Harris through Friday, October 30.If you cannot vote by October 30, you may vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.
Hiawassee City Council Candidates:
Post 3 – Joan Crothers (Incumbent), Kris Berrong, John Holmes
Post 4 – Pat Smith (Incumbent), Liz Ordiales
Post 5 – Janet Allen (Incumbent), Anne Mitchell