Advanced Search

08/09/00 - Retirement Announcement By WD


From the Desk of….

Wendell T. Dawson
1330 New High Shoals Road
P. O. Box 528
Watkinsville,  Georgia 30677


August 9, 2000

I decided not to seek reelection in December but changed my mind at the urging of some supporters.  Changing circumstances in the community and my personal life have resulted in my decision to discontinue my candidacy and retire from public life.
The job of County Commissioner is a great challenge in a vibrant county like Oconee.  Service  in local government has become increasingly difficult with State and Federal unfunded Mandates and a changing more transient population. It is extremely difficult to disseminate good news and the true facts to citizens  in our fast moving society of instant news and instant service.  This trend is continuing at a rapid rate.  The job has increased tremendously in complications and demands in the last 10 years and particularly in the last five years.
At this time, there seems to be no clear mandate by the voters on a consensus position on the County’s direction.  The county’s leadership, public and private, must get involved.
As a long time incumbent, one gains opposition from various groups for a variety and diversity of reasons.   One can be defeated or elected  with this type support but it is difficult to function in office with an emotionally charged atmosphere and carry out the job's responsibilities.   The job requires much time and energy contrary to speculation by some people who have never held the office.  It can be a 60-80 hour week or more.
It is time to let new leadership have a turn at the wheel.  I am tired and ready for a different career.
I plan to relocate my law practice to another office away from the courthouse complex and will redirect my practice.  I will be pursuing work in private practice, consulting and mediation work consistent with my training and experience.
Under state law, the Republican Party Executive Committee can nominate or designate a candidate to replace my name on the ballot.  I am confident they will find a capable person for this challenge.
From a personal standpoint, I will be coming off lots of Boards and not attending numerous meetings as I wind down my term in office. This will allow me more personal time for my family and myself.  I am excited about this new chapter in my life.
I wish the new officials and my successor good fortune and success in leading our county during these challenging times.