Three candidates qualified for Porterdale council Post 3 Friday, turning the race into the most contested in the county.
Political newcomers Terry A. Barnes, John Wayne Maddox, Jr. and Tim Savage will vie for the seat, which will be a two-year term, following the resignation of Arline Chapman, who is running for mayor.
When asked why he's running, Barnes echoed the feelings of many Porterdale residents - the city needs more businesses and more industry.
Barnes, 64, would like to see a restaurant come to the large open space in the Porterdale Mill Lofts and a grocery move in across the street. He said recruiting another industry might spark home purchases and help improve the city.
"I've lived here all my life," he said. "I just think I can add something positive to the city. I think there will be a new group of council members (elected)."
Barnes is the head custodian at Livingston Elementary and has worked for the Newton County School System for 10 years. Before that, he worked in the parts department at General Motors' factory in Doraville for 30 years. He also spent four years in the air force, including working at nuclear missile complex.
He was raised and born in Porterdale and is a 1965 graduate of Newton County High School.
Barnes is a member of Friends of Porterdale, which is working to rebuild the Porterdale gym. He is also a member of Rockdale Cares, a Conyers-based group that works with developmentally-challenged citizens. Barnes is also the treasurer of the local Pace Masonic Lodge 558. He has one son, Josh, 30.
While Maddox wants to see growth, he believes the city needs to focus on the residents who are there now.
"I don't think (the council) is taking care of the residents that are here. I think trying to attract growth, but they need to get a handle of what they got so that we can grow positively in the future," Maddox said.
Maddox, 41, is the son of former longtime council member and mayor Wayne Maddox and said he and his family have a strong investment in Porterdale.
He owns Tractor Transport, a trucking company based in Porterdale. He said he has also owned and sold companies in the areas of construction and development, money recovery and solid waste.
Maddox has a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Georgia Southern University and graduated from Newton County High School in 1988.
He and his wife, Sonya, have two girls.
Savage, 36, is the youngest member of the trio and is also the only one not born in Porterdale. He thinks his outside perspective would be a benefit.
"I fell in love with Porterdale after I moved there in 2002. I used to go to little towns and fix houses and flip them. I bought a house in Porterdale and think it's a really beautiful city," Savage said. "It seems to have stalled."
Savage attended council meetings in an effort to revive the Yellow River Jam, which he hopes will take place in mid-October. During his time at city hall he saw too much bickering and in-fighting.
"And not enough pride for Porterdale. I'd definitely like to see the city be more progressive," he said.
He said revitalizing the downtown is also a goal of his and the city needs to find a way to keep businesses and patrons in Porterdale, whether that be through more restaurants and bars or other businesses.
Savage is a self-employed security consultant, who works with business to identify physical and technology based security risks. He frequently works with camera installation, video monitoring and physical security.
Prior to owning his own company, Savage worked for Walmart for nine years, beginning as a project manager in the security division and eventually overseeing the southeast region.
He graduated from Forest Park High School and attended classes at the now-named Clayton State University.
He plans to work with the newly-formed Yellow River Preservation group and has also volunteered with Pawtropolis in Athens.
For more information about Savage, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.