The Great Falls Citizens Association has several new board members after the general elections last week. The GFCA is a community-based organization that promotes local interests and works to preserve the historic and semi-rural culture of the town and its surrounding area. The GFCA’s main activities are centered on land use issues and transportation.
David Olin was re-elected as president of the GFCA. He ran unopposed in this, his second term. Three other officers were elected. They include: vice president, Kathleen Foley; secretary Catherine Mayes; and treasurer, Joan Barnes.
Three new board members, out of a total of 12 were elected. The new members are; Lynne Kemmerer, Jackie Taylor and Dianne Van Volkenburg. The remaining nine board members were all incumbents. Re-elected to the board are; Jeff Abboud, Mary Anger, Estelle Holley, Jan McCarthy, Harry Miller, Paul Santos, Ali Tabassi, Paul Ward and Eleanor Weck.
NEW BOARD MEMBER Jackie Taylor just recently joined the GFCA and said she intends to “get the word out” about the GFCA and how it can work with members of the community to preserve and improve Great Falls. “Membership is something I’d like to focus on,” said Taylor.
In order to vote in the election residents have to be a member of the association. This year's turn out was less than spectacular but, according to Eleanor Anderson, who helped calculate and collect the votes, voter presence is largely tied to issues being discussed in the community.
“Sometimes there’s a large turn out. It really varies. It has to do with large issues and controversy. It really depends on what issues people are considering. Right now there aren’t any major school issues, which is always a big one,” said Anderson.
Votes cast generally range from 50 to 200, said Anderson.
Some GFCA members have expressed dismay that few people are involved in the organization. Officers and board members have been subjected to resident ire after issues, such as the Georgetown Pike trail or the Turner Farm Observatory Park, are decided and some in the community feel excluded from the decision making process.
GFCA president David Olin, in his previous term, urged citizens who expressed anger at a recent meeting to join the GFCA and help be a part of the process. Several residents had complained that the same people are repeatedly serving on the GFCA and making decisions that impact the entire community.
“It’s difficult to get people to run,” said Olin.
The fact that three new members have been elected to the board could be a harbinger of good news for the future of the GFCA. Especially if Taylor is able to bring up membership, as she hopes.
The GFCA meets on the second Tuesday of the month during the calendar school year at the Grange. Meetings are open to the public and membership is not required for attendance. The GFCA website, www.gfcitizens.org contains calendar information as well as details of current comm