COVINGTON - With the city of Porterdale holding a special election next month to fill the vacant Post 3 City Council seat, four people qualified earlier this week to run for the office.
Those vying for the seat include, Arline Hayes Chapman, James Himes, Wayne Maddox and Jack Loyd.
Born and raised in Porterdale, Loyd said serving on the City Council has been a longtime goal of his.
"I have been wanting to (serve on the council) for a long time," he said. "When the seat came open ... I asked people what they thought and they told me to go for it."
Loyd, who is now retired, said he has lived in Porterdale for the majority of his adult life. Joining the Army when he was 23, Loyd eventually returned to his hometown where he went to work in the office of Bibb Manufacturing. Over the years, Loyd has worked for the city of Covington, as well as the old Porterdale Golf Club, where he ran the clubhouse.
If elected to the council, Loyd, who unsuccessfully ran for a council seat in the past, said he would like to work toward getting more programs for teens and children in the city to keep them from wandering the streets and to also improve communication between residents and their local government.
"I'm not in this for me. I want to do what I can for the citizens of Porterdale," he said.
Also vying for the seat, Maddox served 24 years on the Porterdale City Council before resigning while he held the office of mayor in 2003.
"I figure I'm just as well qualified as anybody," Maddox said. "I have lived in Porterdale my whole life. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly."
If elected, Maddox, who is retired, said he wants residents to know he will be a councilman for the residents of Porterdale.
"I would just like (residents) to know that I would be there for them ... I would bring up any issues that they ask me to and if we talked about it and I was for it, I would try to push it through for them," he said. "I've always tried to do what's right for the people here, especially the elderly. I appreciate their support and vote."
Himes, who ran for mayor in November's election, said there are numerous issues he would like to address in the city should he be elected to the council, including installing electronic voting machines, privatizing garbage pickup, trimming out unnecessary expenses in the budget and bringing overall order back to city government.
"I do believe I am the best qualified, I may not have the best resume, but I am the best qualified for this position," he said.
Himes, who moved to Porterdale three years ago, also said he thinks the city should focus more on commercial growth.
"I want a more diversified program for commercial growth," he said in a previous interview with the Citizen. "Right now, everything is concentrated on downtown, and I want to see it expanded to other parts of the city."
Another issue Himes wants to address is the city's traffic woes, specifically the intersection improvement project at Crowell Road and Ga. Highway 81 that has yet to break ground.
Arline Hayes Chapman
Chapman, who is running for her first political office, announced her intentions to challenge for the seat last month following the resignation of former council member Perry Barnett.
"Ultimately, I thought, well, I've chosen to live here ... I'm going to be here for a long time, and I thought I have some knowledge and experience I could lend to the city council," she said in a previous interview with the Citizen. "I thought I should give something of myself back to the community that I'm enjoying so much."
As a member of the Porterdale City Council, Chapman, who has lived in The Lofts for over the past year, said she would like to focus on fiscal responsibility, controlled growth and historic preservation.
"I've been really pleased with what I've seen with the Porterdale City Council and the local government. I've been impressed with it," she said. "I think as a community grows and takes a bigger place in what's going on, fiscal responsibility is something that can always be defined and refined and brought to a better level. I think there are always issues that can be looked at and strengthened."
Joel Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.