HELEN, Ga. - Geneva S. Elwell has worked the polls during elections in White County for 30 years. She had to sit the last one out, though, since she was running for office. And she won. At age 90.
In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you'll find Alpine architecture. Cobblestone walkways. The bubbling waters of the Chattahoochee.
Welcome to the city of Helen. Population, 430.
"I have lived here 90 years on the property where I was born."
Geneva S. Elwell has called this North Georgia vacation destination "home" her entire life.
"I've seen it grow from dirt roads to a two-lane highway. To see it grow like it has, it's really, really inspired me to help it grow more," Miss Geneva said.
She doesn't have government experience, but she knows how to talk, how to connect.
And showed FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt, her humor.
"You're a people person?" Kaitlyn asked.
"Oh, really?," Miss Geneva answered, deadpan, then laughed. "I love people. And I love Helen."
Miss Geneva owned and operated a motel in the city for 28 years.
She understands Helen's future depends on visitors.
Her desire to keep Helen growing had her friends pushing her to pursue a city commission position.
"Why do you think - they think - you are a good fit?" Kaitlyn asked.
"I don't really know. I guess my everyday living," she said.
74 votes put her in office and got her a seat in a very familiar place. The City Hall building was once Miss Geneva's church.
She's not used to sitting in this section of the room. It will be different. But for a woman whose fondest memories span the 2.1 square miles of land that make up Helen, this position seems a natural fit.
As for what she hopes to accomplish this term?
"Keeping Helen beautified. That's really important to a tourist. To say, 'Hey that's a pretty little city. I'm going to come back.'"
Miss Geneva will be sworn in as City Commissioner in January and will turn 91 in February.