By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Foxworth seeks to capture second term
Placeholder Image

For a second and consecutive time, Porterdale City Council member Robert Foxworth will face off against perennial candidate for the council Andy Grimes.

Foxworth, who is self-employed, is running for a second four-year term on the council. He won the Post 1 council seat in the 2003 city elections, defeating Grimes who was running for the same seat.

This is the third time Grimes, employed with Beaver Manufacturing, has run for Porterdale City Council. He also ran once (and lost) for the Post 5 seat.

This time around though Grimes, 43, thinks he has a much better chance of winning.

According to Grimes, the current city council has not fulfilled any of the campaign promises of the past two years.

In particular, Grimes said he is frustrated by the lack of progress of the Parks and Recreation Committee to bring more recreational facilities to Porterdale.

"It does not take two years to set something up for kids," Grimes said.

Foxworth, 48, however, feels that the council has had a very successful several years. In particular, Foxworth points to the economic growth taking place now which he attributes to the Porterdale Mill Lofts.

 "I was instrumental with the other council members and Bobby Hamby on the Loft apartments," Foxworth said. "We went out on a limb with the Lofts, not knowing how they were going to turn out."

In his four years on the council, Foxworth said he has been able to accomplish a number of things, including persuading the owners of Smiley's Restaurant to relocate from Ga. Highway 213 and Ga. Highway 36 to the Village Inn in Porterdale. The restaurant is currently located directly across the street from the Lofts.

Foxworth pointed to the $500,000 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax allocation for the reconstruction of the Porter Memorial Gym as another one of his accomplishments. As a member of the county-wide SPLOST committee in 2005, Foxworth says he was able to convince the committee and Newton County Chairman Aaron Varner of the importance of the gym to the city.

"I feel very proud of that," Foxworth said.

While both Grimes and Foxworth would like to see improvements brought to the city's law enforcement sector, they have different ideas of what those improvements should be.

Foxworth is in favor of bringing a police chief to the city. Currently the city's manager, Tom Fox, is also serving as active police chief.

"We need a police chief," Foxworth said. "We have the money to hire a full-time police chief. We don't need the city manager to be wearing two hats like that."

Grimes on the other hand would like to see the organization, Police and Citizens Together brought back. Since the city's former police chief John Clifton left the city, Grimes says the organization has ceased to exist.

Grimes said he was also upset with the recent decrease in the number of city garbage collections which went from pickups twice a week to pickup once a week. This change in service was also accompanied by a small rate increase.

"You cannot increase rates if you're going to decrease services," Grimes said. "People in Porterdale on fixed incomes can't afford that."

Foxworth however defended the rate increase, saying there was no way to avoid it because of recent increases in the cost of fuel.

"The city has absorbed so much loss in picking up garbage two days a week when all the other cities only pick up one day a week," Foxworth said. "We just got maxed out. The city budget is very tight. We just had to make that cut."

If re-elected to the council, Foxworth said his main goal would be seeing the scheduled improvements of the intersection at Crowell Road and Ga. Highway 81 completed.

"That intersection is the lifeline of the city," Foxworth said.

At a special called meeting on Oct. 25, Foxworth said he plans to present a proposal to the council which he says offers a solution for the funding problem facing the city over the purchase of necessary right of way for the project.

Foxworth said the project was currently awaiting approval by the Environmental Protection Division. Once that approval is given (and it may take three to six months to get) Foxworth said the county and the city can begin purchasing ROW for the project which has also been allotted $1.8 million in Georgia Department of Transportation Funding.

Both Grimes and Foxworth said they would like to see more public attendance at city meetings.

"I wish people would get more involved in coming to the work sessions and the council meetings," Foxworth said. "We don't make decisions in the blink of an eye.

We will talk and discuss something in depth before we make a decision."

A Newton County resident all his life, Grimes moved to Porterdale 10 years ago. He is employed by Beaver Manufacturing as a twist operator. He has also held a number of managerial positions at several convenience stores and restaurants in Covington.

"You need council members that are more concerned with the citizens," Grimes said.

Born in California and raised in Texas, Foxworth moved to Porterdale in 1991. The owner of a tree service, Foxworth Tree Service, Foxworth says his job often keeps him working six and seven days a week.

Since 1989 he has volunteered as a fireman with the Porterdale Volunteer Fire Department. Foxworth and his fiancee Katrina enjoy spending as much time as they can with her two daughters and four grandchildren.

"I believe the more you're in office the more connections you make with other people," Foxworth said. "I've helped start a lot of the progress. I feel like I'm a big part of the city. I get involved. I'm not one of those council members that sit in a chair and that's all they do."