CONYERS — One of Rockdale County’s most influential civic organizations may be on its way out.
Members of the Greater Rockdale Civic Association, previously known as the South Rockdale Civic Association, were notified this week that a meeting will be held Aug. 20 where a motion for dissolution of the organization will be presented. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at Peachtree Academy, 1801 Ellington Road, Conyers.
In the notice to members, Diana Roppo, secretary of GRCA, cited a “major decline in membership” in 2013 and a shortage of funds to pay for the annual insurance coverages required for the organization and for operating expenses as reasons for the meeting.
GRCA changed its name and meeting location earlier this year in an effort to reach a broader membership.
Don Meyer, a former president of the group who now serves as first vice president, said Thursday membership has dwindled as members grew older, moved away or simply became disenchanted with local governments.
Addressing community issues was once the driving force behind the organization, which formed more than 25 years ago. Those issues still exist, Meyer said, but Rockdale residents aren’t as willing to step up and get involved.
“We can’t really run it without folks who are willing to engage,” he said.
He said the organization has participated in numerous events in order to meet new community residents and grow membership. He said people are interested but typically work outside the county and are too busy to get involved.
Community involvement was at the core of the founding of the South Rockdale Civic Association. Meyer said it is a common misconception that the group formed out of opposition to a rock quarry in south Rockdale. Meyer said the group initially formed in opposition to busing public school students across the county due to safety concerns. The rock quarry was the next issue that galvanized the members.
Over the years the organization has come to be known for its informative meetings and political forums showcasing candidates for office. Meyer said the organization’s goal was to inform voters, not promote a political agenda.
“I think in our forums we tried to make them as vanilla as possible on the tone and tenor for all the candidates and all the parties and all the backgrounds,” he said. “I don’t think anybody could say we tried to spin it one way or the other.”
Now, though, with paid membership hovering around 25, Meyer said the money simply isn’t there to pay for the needed insurance coverages.
The organization plans to hear a motion to dissolve at its meeting next Tuesday, but Meyer said other motions from the floor will be entertained. It’s possible that some other options will be presented.
“I would like to see it survive,” Meyer said.
Meyer said if GRCA disappears, there will be a void — at least until the next hot-button issue arises.
“When something big hits the community, hopefully there will be some new young blood that will jump in there in the swirling waters and save the day,” he said.