PORTERDALE - In his fourth attempt to win a seat on the Porterdale City Council, Andy Grimes said his goal is to allow citizens to have more input on how the city is run.
"There's a lot of stuff going on right now that needs more input from the citizens, and right now the current City Council won't let the citizens speak, and when they do, they get ignored," Grimes said.
Grimes first ran for a seat on the City Council in 2002. Since then he's run for the Post 5 seat in 2005 and the Post 1 seat in 2007. This time he's again seeking the Post 5 seat that was vacated late last year by the resignation of Kay Piper. Grimes faces opposition from political newcomer Lowell Chambers in the March 17 special election.
Grimes, 44, has lived in Porterdale 11 years. He is an Oxford native who was educated in Newton County schools. He has been employed by Beaver Manufacturing in Mansfield for 11 years.
Grimes said two of his primary concerns are ongoing drug problems and the back alleyways and streets that need cleaning up. Grimes did note that drug problems on his home street of Ivy have decreased significantly since he moved there in October, and he'd like to see that same reduction throughout the city.
Another area of concern is the number of fees citizens are asked to pay. Grimes said he did not agree with charging city residents a $5 fee per animal to register their pets as required under a proposed animal control ordinance.
"There are too many fees in Porterdale," Grimes said. "I'm surprised they haven't come up with a fee for just passing through in the car."
"Fees for the pets," he added, "who is going to come down and pay $5 for pets that they've got?"
Grimes said he also would like to see a decrease in the amount of friction among council members.
"I live in Porterdale, and I love the city of Porterdale," he said. "And I want to keep it the way it was when I first moved in here. There is too much controversy among the council members right now."
Bottom line, Grimes said, is that the council members should put the citizens ahead of their own objectives. "They are elected by the citizens and they have to listen to what the people want," he said.
Alice Queen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.