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Posted: November 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Engineer running for Porterdale council

March election will fill vacant Post 5 seat

Lowell Chambers has officially announced his intention to run for the vacated seat on the Porterdale City Council left by Kay Piper.

A Porterdale resident since 2000, Chambers has owned property in the city since 1993 and is a founding member of The Friends of Porterdale and has served as the chairman of the city's zoning board.
Chambers currently works as the Watershed Director for the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management and was previously employed as chief engineer with Atlanta's Department of Public Works and design section chief for the Bureau of Drinking Water.

Piper, who resigned due to health issues as well as turmoil on the council, worked with city employees in an attempt to rectify the city's financial woes and Chambers could possibly step into that role, having been responsible for a $500 million evaluation and rehabilitation of the City of Atlanta's sewer system.

Chambers has a Bachelor in agricultural engineering from the University of Georgia and a Master of city planning from Georgia Tech. He is also a registered professional engineer. In his professional career he has worked as an engineer/project manager with consulting firms in the design and construction of reservoirs, roadway projects and various types of public and private utilities.

According to Chambers, he has been approached by neighbors and residents, as well as other interested parties, about running for the council for several years. And though he said each time he was "flattered" he had no interest in elected politics and both family and work commitments have kept him from devoting the amount of time needed for the position.

"Regrettably, recent events in Porterdale have brought to light some serious problems within the elected leadership of the town," Chambers said. "We have a capable and dedicated mayor and have had a few talented and committed council members. The unfortunate resignation of Ms. Kay Piper from the city council has left a vacuum. I have been persuaded that this may well be a tipping point. Either we build on the progress of recent years and go forward with open, honest government, or we go backward to the backroom dealings of years past. In the interest of a positive future, I have decided to run."

Chambers also said he believes that although local government is struggling everywhere, many of the city's problems are "self-imposed."

"Some officials may be more interested in personal power than what is in the best interest of the community. It appears that some employees of Porterdale have not been treated fairly and have not been given the opportunity to function professionally. This in turn creates further problems," Chambers said. "I believe that an open, objective and supportive city council can create an environment where employees are motivated to perform at their best. I hope to bring a cooperative spirit to the city council with the hope and belief that this will allow Porterdale to move in a positive direction and fulfill its motto: "Porterdale - A Great Place to Live."

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