Participate In Democracy: Call Your Elected Reps

Dade County, this is your elected commission. It meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of the month (that's, ahem, tonight!) and the public is welcome. But if you can't come, and you have something to say, your commissioners' phone numbers and emails are listed below, as are state and federal officials'.

Especially in an election year and especially just after, people always seem to be telling The Planet what the "gummint" is doing wrong. And what The Planet, a great admirer of representative democracy, always seems to be answering is: "Don't tell The Planet! Tell the gummint!"

This is, after all, your (a) county, (b) state and (c) country, and the officials elected to lead those bodies are supposed to be doing it in accord with the will of their constituents. So give 'em a call already! Or drop 'em a line!

In order to facilitate that, here is a list of the phone numbers and email addresses of your elected officials at all levels of governments.

Dade County This is the most immediate and satisfying level at which to communicate your desires. Dade is a small county and its elected commissioners are friendly, courteous and available to listen to your concerns. The Planet can attest that they all answer their cellphones and check their emails.

Call the commissioner who represents your neighborhood, or call the Commission office, which is open during regular business hours: (706) 657-4625. County Boss Ted Rumley, the at-large commissioner and commission chairman, can usually be reached there, but his cellphone is below with the other commissioners'.

Call these local reps for local matters: county roads, property taxes, ordinances (such as the liquor-by-the-drink ordinance we've been hearing so much about).

Chairman Ted Rumley: (423) 667-8999; Dist. 1 (N. Dade) Mitchell Smith: (423) 664 2567; Dist. 2 (Sand Mountain) Scottie Pittman: (423) 413 6572; Dist. 3 (Trenton/Rising Fawn) Robert Goff (423) 503-0618; Dist. 4 (Lookout Mountain/Piney) Allan Bradford (423) 413-0245;


To go up the power structure a notch, there may be matters you want to take up at the Georgia government level. GDOT--the Georgia Department of Transportation--comes to mind. Dade's representative in the Georgia House of Representatives is John Deffenbaugh. He lives locally and is also friendly and accessible, though you may have to leave a message. Dade's voice in the Georgia Senate is Jeff Mullis. Mullis is a little harder to access--he's been known to say, "Do you know how many emails I get?" But leave enough messages or send sufficient emails and you may get his attention.

Ga. Rep. John Deffenbaugh: Office (404) 656-0202; Cell (423) 400-8128;

Ga. Sen. Jeff Mullis, (404) 656-0057; (no cell available)


If it's your U.S. congressman and senators, you want, again, those at the more local levels tend to be the most accessible. Tom Graves represents Dade's district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He keeps office hours in Dade a couple of times a year and can be reached at: U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (706) 226-5320 (local office); you must email him through the contact portal at his website,

Your United State senators are the ones who vote on the Cabinet appointments that have a lot of fists shaking these days. They may be harder to get hold of than the local guys, but again, keep trying if you want your voice heard. You have to email them through their websites, too, but the complete URLs are listed below.

Sen. Johnny Isaakson, (202) 224-3643; email: Sen. David Perdue: (202) 224-3521 Contact:

Are you an Alabama or Tennessee reader who would like to see your elected representatives' contact info in this handy guide? If so, let The Planet know! or 423/364-4386.

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