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Councilman going door-to-door to invite citizens to meetings
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Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann talks with Shirley Patterson and her granddaughter Haley Moyer, 15, in the Cresswind at Lake Lanier subdivision last week in his quest to visit each home in the city and invite residents to attend city council meetings. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann walks up to a house in the Cresswind at Lake Lanier subdivision as part of an ongoing three-year effort to show residents of Gainesville that he cares.

Wangemann was on house number 8,776 Thursday in a door-to-door campaign to knock on every house, apartment and town house in the city.

He brings gifts and goodies for each resident he speaks to, including an invitation to attend city council meetings, a letter of appreciation, a book on U.S. history and a pass to the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center.

“It’s just to let the people know that I care about them,” he said. “I feel like no matter how much time this project takes, it’s worth it.”

Wangemann said he estimates there are about 12,000 to 13,000 doors in the city. He makes his visits two to three times a week, spending up to three or four hours at a time. The subdivision has about 240 homes, he said.

“By next Tuesday’s meeting, my goal is to have 8,800 completed,” Wangemann said.

E.G. and Myra Taylor live on Scarlet Oak Lane and know the councilman socially. The couple lived in Hall County for about 46 years until they moved in the city subdivision three years ago. Cresswind is a gated community for active adults at over age 55. The community features a three-story clubhouse with an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts and walking trails.

“That’s an awesome accomplishment,” Myra Taylor said to Wangemann. “I thought you picked us as special.”

Resident Shirley Patterson said she didn’t have any concerns about her local government when Wangemann knocked on her door Thursday afternoon. Patterson was entertaining her granddaughter Haley Moyer, 15, from North Carolina.

If no one’s home, Wangemann leaves the invitation to the council meetings at the front door and moves on. He hands the letter to residents who are home when he drops by. The letter thanks residents for electing him in the past to the council, inviting suggestions and promising them to keep them better informed about city events and issues. It also includes his contact information.

Kathy Haley hasn’t attended the city council meetings before and said she doesn’t know if the councilman’s visit will change that. There’s not much wrong with Gainesville, the longtime resident said.

“Hi, how are you,”Wangemann said to Haley, offering her candy. “I just want to know that I really appreciate all my constituents.”

After an hour, Wangemann has hit more than a half dozen homes on one of side Scarlet Oak Lane and the sun is beating down.

Needing to head to an appointment, he walks back to the car and stows his gear for the next round of visits.

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