Local painter and former state government official Arline Chapman has announced her candidacy for Porterdale Councilman Perry Barnett's vacated seat.
Barnett announced his resignation at the Dec. 3 Porterdale City Council meeting. Barnett said he was resigning due to an impending move in January beyond the city's limits. A special election to fill his seat has been set for Feb. 5 to coincide with the alcohol referendum and the state presidential primary.
Chapman is an art instructor at The Southern Heartland Art Gallery in Covington. She also serves on the gallery's board of directors. A resident of the Porterdale Mill Lofts, Chapman has lived in Porterdale for one year. Prior to that she lived in Conyers.
Retired after a long and varied career, Chapman has worked for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker as his executive assistant in addition to serving as a staff member in Gov. Zell Miller's administration. She also worked as a committee secretary for the Georgia House of Representatives and as a flight attendant for Eastern Air Lines.
"I've chosen this place to probably live out the rest of my life," Chapman said. "I thought why not give something of myself to the community."
Chapman, the mother of two grown sons, said her years spent working in the state Capitol have given her an understanding of the workings of state government which she feels would serve her well as a city official interacting with state agencies such as the Georgia Department of Transportation.
"I think it takes a certain amount of experience to deal with people on all levels (of government)," Chapman said.
Chapman is running on a platform of fiscal accountability on all levels, controlled residential and commercial growth and the preservation of Porterdale's history.
"I think everything has to be accounted for to the absolute penny," Chapman said, referring to a recent city council disagreement over the handling of finances for city festivities. "Everything should be documented."
Chapman said she believed the city should encourage the future development of upscale subdivisions to increase the city's tax base.
"I think we need to be looking for developers to come in and develop some subdivisions that have got say (houses) from the $200,000s to the $300,000s," she said.
Chapman said she would also be in support of the making of a brief historical documentary tracing the history of Porterdale with oral testimonies from former Porterdale Mill employees which could be shown to school children.
"A film of that nature needs to be captured now while people are still here to explain their experiences in their own voices," Chapman said.
Chapman has also held leadership roles as a past president of the Epiphany Lutheran Church Council, Parent Teacher Association, garden and women's clubs.
Chapman is scheduled to speak to The Friends of Porterdale at Chance's Art Gallery in downtown Porterdale at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 5