Councilwoman Chapman to run for mayor of Porterdale

PORTERDALE -- Post 3 City Councilwoman Arline Chapman has sent a letter of resignation to the city manager and mayor notifying them of her intent to run for mayor in the Nov. 8 municipal elections.

Chapman's resignation becomes effective Friday.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, Chapman stated that she believes it is time for Porterdale to have a progressive leader in the mayor's seat. She cited several accomplishments she has achieved since she was elected to fill an unexpired term on the council. Among those achievements is spearheading an effort to have a gazebo in a city park rebuilt rather than torn down; installing a long-forgotten historical marker in the town's memorial alley; helping to bring the community garden and farmers market to Porterdale; and leading an effort to open a free lending-library at the Depot.

Chapman said Wednesday that the decision to run for mayor was made after much deliberation and input from citizens.

"Really I've thought to myself that I would run, and then I thought I wouldn't do it, but I had a lot of people encouraging me to run," Chapman said. "I really feel as though, to make the things happen here in Porterdale that need to happen -- regardless of the economy -- some changes have to be made. We have to be more forward-thinking. The time is right, I think, for someone else to take that position, with all due respect."

The mayor's position is held by long-time Mayor Bobby Hamby. He has not yet announced if he will seek re-election.

One of the things Chapman said she will work to do as mayor is foster a cooperative attitude among councilmembers. Porterdale's City Council has been notable in the past due to personal conflicts among council members.

Even though the mayor of Porterdale does not have a vote, Chapman said that the position still carries weight because of the potential for the mayor to help build a good working relationship among council members in order to get things accomplished.

Chapman said she feels there is great potential for newly-elected council members to be able to come together and work for the good of the city.

Chapman said citizens have mentioned to her their concerns about the ability of the City Council to work cooperatively.

"Sometimes there is a lack of courtesy among the members, and that needs to stop," she said.

Quality of life issues are important to Chapman, and she hopes to be able to establish parks in all four quadrants in the town, as well as improve recreational access to the Yellow River.

Chapman moved to Porterdale five years ago and last year bought and renovated a 1916 mill house.

"While I have come a long way to find Porterdale, I feel that I have come home," Chapman said in the press release. "My heart is here and I am dedicated to the revitalization of our city."

Chapman spent 16 years in state government, working for the House of Representatives, as a member of the staff of Gov. Zell Miller, and as executive assistant to former Attorney General Thurbert Baker. She has two sons and two granddaughters. She is an active member of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Conyers and as an artist is associated with The Southern Heartland Art Gallery on the Square in Covington.