Membership Meetings

January 23, 2020

Forty-two members and sixteen visitors signed in at the Towns County Civic Center by 6 p.m. with most bringing a covered dish to share for dinner.  TCCA bought BBQ, chicken fingers, tea, water, and paper products.  Members were asked to bring side dishes, salads, desserts.

President Michael Courey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Guest speakers were Grace Howard, Executive Director of Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, Inc.; Candace Lee, President of Towns County Chamber of Commerce; and Pat Malone, 2020 Census.

Howard gave a brief history of Hamilton Gardens and told of the recent damage by several strong storms, taking down huge old trees. She thanked those who had helped with cleanup and those who had donated to this cleanup. She said there was still more to do.

Lee bragged on Towns County’s tourism years, up from 2017—over $51 million—to over $53 million in 2018.  That’s the last complete list of tourism in GA counties.  She listed some of the up-coming events bringing in tourism this coming spring and classes the Chamber will be having soon.

Malone explained why each person is so important, answering the 2020 Census questionnaire.  It’s not only a historical record, but it determines the apportionment of congressional seats in Washington D.C. and the Georgia General Assembly.  He said Georgia receives about $2K per person, so the more accurate the count, the more federal funds will be allocated locally.

Chairman of City of Hiawassee Downtown Development Authority Herb Bruce gave an update on their purchase of several old buildings on Main Street and asked for suggestions for their use in the near future.

President Courey spoke of the SPLOST referendum in the upcoming May 19th election, “Your right to vote is important.”  He thanked speakers, guests and the many members for coming and bringing such good dishes for the pot luck dinner.

The next general membership meeting will be in June of 2020.  Notice of place and time will be in the newspaper.

June 5, 2019

Attendance: 42-38 members and 4 guests.

Location: Foster Park Recreation Center

President Michael Courey opened meeting at 6 p.m. and asked speakers to go through the buffet lines first. Jan Kowalsky and Joan Crothers manned the sign-in table. LaJean took dues at a separate table.

Invocation: Led by Ms. Gottlieb.

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Ret. Marine Col. Bill Lyon.

After dinner the following speakers were introduced by President Courey:

Hamilton Gardens: Grace Howard, Executive Director of Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, Inc., gave us the latest information on the Gardens, the car count and visitor sign-ins. She stressed the Gardens are mainly worked by volunteers and funded mainly through donations.

Clean Sweep: Liza Strub gave an update on this year’s Clean Sweep and details of Adopt-A-Road in Towns County and encouraged participation.

Fire Wise:  The Firewise review was presented by Michael Courey.

State of the City: Ronnie Phillips was scheduled to talk about the CVB, but was unable to attend due to illness. Liz Ordiales, Mayor of the City of Hiawassee gave an impromptu “State of the City” talk.

Hinton Center: Jacqueline Gottlieb, Pres. & CEO Hinton Center, presented the functions of the Center and the results of the latest study on the quality of life in Southern Appalachia, their 58th Anniversary and discussed the other Center programs.

Business meeting:

President Courey asked for approval of May 2019 minutes (as posted on our website). Motion was made to approve; seconded and passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Also as posted on the Association website; motion was made by Billy Snipes to approve; seconded and passed.

By-Laws: The two amendments to TCCA By-Laws (explained by Michael, as well as copies presented to the membership, and as presented in advance on the web site) were voted on with unanimous “Yes” vote.

Vote for officers: Larry Dietsch, chairman of Nominating Committee, named the slate they had for officers: President—Michael Courey, Vice President—LaJean Turner; Treasurer—Jan Kowalsky; Secretary—Joan Crothers. He asked for nominations from the floor, hearing none, the nominations process was closed. A unified vote was taken and unanimously accepted. The 2019-2020 Officers will start their one year term 1 July 2019.

50-50: The results of the 50-50 were $156 split $76 for a ticket drawn and $76 for TCCA treasury. Joan reminded the membership that the half for TCCA would go for the non-profits voted on at the last membership meeting: CASA, HRWC, Hamilton Gardens, and a scholarship for TCHS student.  Liz Ordiales held the winning ticket and handed the money to Grace Howard for Hamilton Gardens.

Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

January 22, 2019

Attendance: 62—46 members and 16 guests at the Civic Center.

President Michael Courey opened meeting at 6 p.m. and asked speakers to go through the buffet lines first. Barbara Carew and Joan Crothers manned the Sign-in table. Several dues were paid.

Speakers:  President Courey introduced Dr. Drew Van Horn, President of Young Harris College. Dr. Van Horn said the College is now offering a Masters Degree. Most of their students come from a 100-150 mile radius in Georgia and they partner with the adjoining five counties’ high schools with college courses their student can take. These students can also attend YHC for $10K/yr; with the HOPE Scholarship it is only $5K/yr. They want to keep their skilled students in North Georgia.

Dr. Van Horn then introduced YHC Baseball Head Coach Stephen Waggener who spoke about their “major success” in baseball last year.

Clean Sweep: Liza and Chuck Strub gave an update on their first project: uncovered trucks at Towns County Transfer Station. With their campaign, uncovered loads have gone down in the last two months from 47% to 16%. General County cleanup will be two weeks this year, April 15-27.

Fire Wise:  Frank Riley spoke briefly about spreading the word about Towns County’s success with Firewise Communities and the reduction in wildfires it has made.

Business meeting: Pres. Courey reminded everyone that minutes are on our website along with other information. He gave the Treasurer’s Report as bank balance of $3,962.77. 

By-Laws: The three amendments to TCCA By-Laws were explained and voted on with unanimous “Yes” vote.

Survey for donations: La Jean Turner talked about the survey members were asked to fill out as they came into the meeting as to donations to be made with their dues money. She will report the results at the February Board meeting.

Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.