“We need to do some team building in Dahlonega and Lumpkin County,” he says. “Everybody’s doing good things, but I’m not sure we’re all pulling in the same direction.”
Dockery says he doesn’t really like the term “visioning process,” but can’t come up with a better one to explain what he hopes to accomplish.
“We all need to know where we want to go, how we want to grow. When we’re considering a major initiative, we need to be able to look at it and say, how does this work with what we talked about we wanted,” he said. “You can’t expect the city and county to agree all the time, but each government entity should be able to support the other.”
The university, he says, also needs to be a part of the equation.
“I think it’s important to know and understand their plans,” he says.
Dockery plans to get the three entities together for a visioning process, facilitated by the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority (DDA). He also wants the Development Authority of Lumpkin County (DALC) to be involved.
“They all play together,” he says. “The Development Authority needs to be able to support whatever the vision is.”
Once the vision is established he doesn’t want it to “just be a book on the shelf like so many of these things become—you point to it and say look what we did,” he says. “I’d like to reduce it to a few bullet points or a graphic and let that be disseminated to all facets of the community.”
Dockery comes to the chairmanship with a strong background in economic development. He has put in 10-plus years as a member of the DALC, and chaired the organization since 2007.
Dockery says he takes pride in having a hand in keeping Koyo in town, and in starting the fiber optic project. “Those were big things,” he says.
But he is proudest of the partnership between the DALC, Lumpkin County Water & Sewer and county in bringing sewer service to the Georgia 400 area.
“That was a huge demonstration of team work,” he says.
Dockery also plans to do some team building between members of the commission in order to get off to a good start. He has already begun conversations with the County Manager, and says he believes they are developing a good working relationship.
“We are both ex-military, and we understand one another,” he says. “I want everybody to work together—commissioners, staff, city and county. That’s the big thing.”