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Posted: November 18, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Savage sworn in at Thursday meeting

Porterdale city officials swore in one of its newly elected city councilors Thursday, filling a vacant seat and making it easier for the council to muster enough members to conduct business.

Tim Savage, who won election to Post 3 Nov. 8 over Terry Barnes, will finish the remainder of the term of Arline Chapman, who resigned her seat to run for mayor. The city council has had to put off business for three consecutive meetings because the charter-mandated minimum of four members was not present.

"I wanted to get in there early and get business started," Savage said. "They've had problems getting a quorum. I figured since I'm taking a vacated seat I could get in there and do the work of the city."

City manager Bob Thomson said attorney Tim Chambers reviewed the city charter and determined there was nothing there that would prevent Savage from being sworn in early to finish Chapman's term.

Chambers also said Savage could be sworn in even if four members are not present, Thomson said.

The mayor has sworn in city councilors in the past, and under certain circumstances, the city clerk could do so as well, he said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Bobby Hamby called a meeting for Thursday night to approve the transfer of a liquor license for new owners of the Porterdale Bar and Grill and to consider a resolution on Newton County Trails.

"We have a business changing owners and we need to approve that so they can get on with their lives," Savage said. "With the Yellow River Park, we want to make sure that stays on track."

Two of the four councilors attended meetings on Oct. 27 and Nov. 7, and three showed up for another called meeting last Monday. Aside from the liquor license, the city also put off voting on a lease for a new K-9 officer and new ordinances on houses and on convenience stores selling items that could be use to consume illegal drugs.

Another meeting is scheduled for Monday night at 6:30 p.m.

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