A former Georgia attorney general visited Porterdale Monday night to swear in a former colleague as mayor of the small city.
Thurbert Baker, who served as attorney general alongside three governors from 1997 to 2011, administered the oath of office to Mayor Arline Chapman in front of a full house at the Porterdale City Hall Monday evening.
Chapman worked with Baker in state government in Atlanta for many years.
"We would not have gotten through some of the most difficult decisions in recent Georgia history without this lady by my side," Baker said.
He swore in Chapman as mayor, then watched as she swore in newly elected City Councilor Anita Rainey to Post 1 and the reelected City Councilor Linda Finger to Post 2.
After the swearings, Chapman read aloud two resolutions thanking former Mayor Bobby Hamby, who lost to Chapman in the November election, and former City Councilor Robert Foxworth, who lost to Rainey, for their service.
K9 agreement approved
The City Council Monday night unanimously approved an agreement with a police sergeant to finish the training of a new K9 officer.
Sgt. Jason Cripps, who has been training the 2-year-old Nina for about a year, would lease Nina, a Belgian Malinois, to the city for $1 per year, with the city paying up to $1,000 for "the expense of usual and ordinary veterinary care, including annual maintenance," and up to $200 for equipment replacement, according to the agreement.
Porterdale also agreed to pay for National Narcotic Detector Dog Association and North American Police Work Dog Association certification fees and costs associated with one NAPWDA annual training seminar.
The lease is for one year, with four additional one-year options under the lease agreement, and the city can decline to renew the lease with 30 days notice to Cripps.
Nina is nearly ready for certification. Once she gets certified, she will be put on duty, allowing Beau, the department's current K9 officer, to go into "semi-retirement," Cripps has said.
Basketball hoop to be replaced
City officials also decided Monday to install a basketball hoop near the city pavilion on Broad Street.
Some officials and city residents worried that young adults would use the half-court basketball playing area to play very competitive games and keep the local children from using it.
The City Council approved a resolution that would install the hoop and ask the police department to make sure only children under age 18 use it and that they are not disturbing residents using the picnic pavilion and surrounding park.
A hoop had been installed near the pavilion in the past, but the city moved it to a space next to City Hall after residents complained about young adults playing an aggressive-style ball there and not giving up the picnic tables to residents. The hoop next to City Hall was taken down in early 2010 to make way for the new community garden.
"Taking down the goal didn't eliminate those problems over the last two years," Finger said. "They're still there."
Councilor Mike Harper voted against the resolution.