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Your Candidates: Porterdale City Council
Learn more about the Post 5 council candidates
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Lowell Chambers (incumbent)

1. I am the son of a United Methodist minister who is a member of the North Georgia Conference.  Consequently, my father (and the family) was reassigned about every 4 years to a new church/community.  I grew up in several small towns around North Georgia.  I lived in downtown Atlanta when I was single for the first few years after I married.  When we had a family on the way, we decided we needed to be in a more child friendly environment.  That is why we moved to Porterdale, I felt like it had the “potential” to reestablish itself as a “all American small town”.  We bought land in Porterdale in 1993 and moved to Covington in 1994 with the intention of being there a short while we built a house in Porterdale.  Eventually, we finished our house and moved to Porterdale in 2000.

2. Wife – Melanie Sheets, school teacher, Heard-Mixon Elementary School

Son – Wesley Chambers, 10th grade, Eastside High School

Son – Zachary Chambers, 7th grade, Indian Creek Middle School

3. Education - Master’s Degree in City Planning – Georgia Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering – University of Georgia

Bachelor of Music Education – University of Georgia

Associate of Fine Arts – Young Harris College

4. Civil Engineer, City Planner

Professional: Georgia Licensed Professional Engineer # 17047

Responsible for a $500 million program of evaluation and rehabilitation of urban infrastructure; design and construction of reservoirs, roadways, water and sewer systems; and all type of public and private utilities.

Licenses - Teacher Certification – Ga. K-12 (1978)

More than 20 years of government service with the City of Atlanta as Director of the Department of Watershed Management, Bureau of Watershed Protection; Chief Engineer for the Department of Public Works; and Engineering Design Chief for the Department of Water.

5. I am a founding member of The Friends of Porterdale and have served as chairman of the Porterdale Zoning Board.  I am on the Board of Directors of Smart Growth Newton County.  My family and I are active in Covington First United Methodist Church.

6. Deteriorated and inadequate housing stock is one of the most difficult problems facing Porterdale. I believe that over time, consistent and strict enforcement of City codes will result in an improvement of Porterdale’s housing.  This will result in an improved quality of life for all residents.

A second issue is downtown development.  We have an opportunity to become a unique business center if we take advantage of our history, location, and environment. 

7. I would like to focus on # 6 above as well as development of the Yellow River Park and implementation of a multi-use trail system.  My family and I like whitewater canoeing.  I think Porterdale has potential to create a fishing/boating recreational focus. 


Andy Grimes

1. If you were born in Newton County, why have you stayed all these years?

I was born and raised in Newton County on July 13, 1964 to Buddy and Francis Grimes. I moved to Porterdale in 1997.

2. Please list the names of your spouse and children.

I am not married and have no children.

3. Please list your educational background.

I attended: Palmer Stone Elementary, Cousins Middle School, Newton County Comprehensive High School, and a private school in Atlanta, Davison School. I joined clubs such as 4-H, Deca, FBLA and FFA while in high school.

4. Please describe your professional background.

I worked as a supervisor for a number of fast food restaurants, including Taco Bell and Hardees, both in Covington. Since March of 1998, I have been employed as a Twister Operator at Beaver Manufacturing in Mansfield.

5. Please describe your community/non-profit/public service background.

In the early to mid-1990s, I was a volunteer at the Central Newton Volunteer Fire Department. Also, I volunteered at Repairers of the Breach in Covington.

I also was a Team Section Leader with the Citizens on Patrol program, which never took off.

6. What is the most important issue facing your city?

There are several issues in the right now:

- drugs; Crowell Road/Highway 81 intersection; The Gym; roads; Police Department (more visible in town); and a host of others

7. If elected, what are your goals for office?

My number one goal is to jump right in and learn and work like hell for the people of Porterdale and do whatever it takes to learn how to what needs to be done. I also want to get future development and current projects complete and move the city to a working and profitable city and to do the job they elected me to do. My phone number is 678-760-3843 and I will return and calls – it is my cell phone, so please leave a message. You will not have to call city hall to get in touch with me.