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Porterdale can't mail out CARE inserts
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The Porterdale City Council put off its business for the third meeting in a row Monday because not enough councilmen showed up to conduct business.

Since early October, the City Council has been unable to vote on issues ranging from approving a lease for a new K9 officer to approving a drug paraphernalia ordinance and reviewing the city’s housing code. The city scheduled another called meeting for Monday at 6:30 p.m.

On Monday, Post 2 Councilwoman Linda Finger did not attend, saying Tuesday that she decided not to go because a couple people “wanted to stir up trouble.” 

“They wanted to argue,” Finger said, referring to Councilman Robert Foxworth and Darlene Savage, who ran against her in the election. “They went in there with a plan to argue and I didn’t see any benefit to that. I’ve been there and I’m all about running the business of Porterdale. There’s nothing professional about it.”

On her Facebook page, Finger wrote, “I WILL NOT be attending the council meeting tonight, because I refuse to give Robert Foxworth a platform to do anymore damage than he has already done!!! He just don’t get it. I look forward to serving our residents four more years with a great group of people that care about Porterdale and it’s future.”

According to the city charter, four out of the five city councilmen must be present to conduct city business. Since Arline Chapman resigned her Post 3 seat to run for mayor, all the remaining councilmen must be present to hold a meeting.

At a called meeting on Oct. 27, two councilmen — Finger and Lowell Chambers — and Mayor Bobby Hamby attended the meeting, which was called to approve the K9 lease and the paraphernalia ordinance. Those two councilmen and Hamby attended the regular Nov. 7 meeting.

Hamby said at that meeting that Foxworth was out with back problems. Foxworth said Tuesday he was in Texas visiting family.

City officials are consulting with attorney Tim Chambers to see if Tim Savage, who won election to Chapman’s vacated Post 3 seat last week, can be sworn in before January, when the rest of the newly elected officials will take their seats.

Several residents have complained about attendance recently at City Council meetings; however, a review of the minutes of the meetings shows that the council has not had a problem with councilmen attendance this year. The three recent meetings were the only ones where too few councilmen showed up to conduct business.

Before Oct. 27, Foxworth missed one meeting on July 28 and Councilman Lowell Chambers missed a meeting on April 4. The other four members attended those meetings.

Inserts in water bills not allowed

City officials cannot include any inserts with water and sewer bills, according to an opinion from the Georgia Municipal Association. City Manager Bob Thomson said Tuesday the GMA said cities can only include phone numbers to assist residents who cannot pay their bills.

The city had been including a community bulletin in the bills listing upcoming events. However, Darlene Savage on Monday questioned use of city paper and employee time to copy 600 flyers for an upcoming free Christmas dinner coordinated by the Community Assistance Relief Effort group.

“If we allow one nonprofit organization to have their information printed by the city and enclosed in water bills, any existing or future nonprofit organization that wants to have that benefit in Porterdale, would they be allowed to have the city print their information and put it in the bills?” Savage asked.

Savage said she supported CARE, but did not think the city should be using its resources to copy and distribute its flyers.

Finger said the flyer, which has been sent out in water bills in the past, is no different than the community bulletin. “It doesn’t cost the city anything other than the paper. It doesn’t cost any extra postage. It’s a free community service thing. I think they’re making much ado about nothing.”