Cham­bers seeks re-elec­tion to Por­terdale coun­cil

The Covington News - - RELIGION - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Por­terdale City Coun­cil­man Low­ell Cham­bers is run­ning for re-elec­tion to the Post 5 seat to con­tinue work on re­vi­tal­iz­ing down­town, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing river recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Cham­bers, 57, was ini­tially elected in early 2009 to fill the un­ex­pired term of Kay Piper and was elected again in Novem­ber 2009. He said he be­lieves the coun­cil has made a lot of progress in cre­at­ing a more pro­fes­sional and suc­cess­ful city.

“Four years ago, I was en­cour­aged to run by cit­i­zens who were tired of po­lit­i­cal bick­er­ing and con­tro­versy and who wanted to see Por­terdale reach its po­ten­tial. Since then, Por­terdale has made huge strides — the city bud­get is fi­nan­cially sound and the mil­lage rate has been low­ered, the po­lice and all de­part­ments are op­er­at­ing full time, and hous­ing codes are be­ing en­forced,” Cham­bers said in an email to The News.

“A new at­ti­tude of op­ti­mism and co­op­er­a­tion is ev­i­dent on the coun­cil. Long-term debt has been re­fi­nanced with lower in­ter­est rates and lower pay­ments, and the sav­ings are be­ing in­vested in the re­con­struc­tion of the city’s sewer sys­tem. Parks have been con­structed, trees have been planted, a new Main Street di­rec­tor has been hired, and the his­toric gym­na­sium is be­ing his­tor­i­cally pre­served and re­pur­posed as an event space. I have been in­stru­men­tal in all th­ese ac­com­plish­ments. I want to see this progress con­tinue,” Cham­ber said.

Cham­bers said his fo­cus will con­tinue to be on down­town de­vel­op­ment, his­toric preser­va­tion and con­tin­ued im­prove­ment in res­i­dents’ qual­ity of life, in­clud­ing pur­su­ing a multi-faceted park along the Yel­low River. He also has some smaller goals he wants to check off, like com­put­er­iz­ing the city’s code, so it can be placed on­line.

Four years ago, Cham­bers said he wanted to bring sta­bil­ity to city lead­er­ship, pro­mote more open govern­ment and cre­ate a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for em­ploy­ees, and he be­lieves he’s helped to ac­com­plish those goals. For his full re­sponses to each of those pre­vi­ous cam­paign goals, visit Cov­ to see Cham­ber’s com­pleted elec­tion ques­tion­naire.

A li­censed en­gi­neer, Cham­bers is cur­rently the wa­ter­shed di­rec­tor for the City of At­lanta and re­views all build­ing per­mits in At­lanta that in­volve “earth-dis­turb­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, drainage, storm-wa­ter man­age­ment, san­i­tary sewer, flood plains, stream buf­fers or wet­lands.” He pre­vi­ously served as chief en­gi­neer of At­lanta’s pub­lic works depart­ment and has been with the city for 24 years.

“I have been re­spon­si­ble for nu­mer­ous ma­jor projects, in­clud­ing large di­am­e­ter wastew­a­ter tun­nels and a $500 mil­lion eval­u­a­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the At­lanta sewer sys­tem,” Cham­bers said.

Born in De­mor­est, Ga., Cham­bers lived in sev­eral towns as the son of a United Methodist pas­tor. He has lived in Por­terdale since 2000 “be­cause it is rem­i­nis­cent of the small towns” in which he and his wife grew up.

He earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion in 1978 and a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in agri­cul­tural en­gi­neer­ing in 1982 from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia. He earned a mas­ter’s de­gree in city plan­ning from Ge­or­gia Tech in 1987.

Cham­bers is a found­ing mem­ber of The Friends of Por­terdale non­profit and has served as chair­man of the Por­terdale Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion. He cur­rently serves on the Por­terdale His­toric Preser­va­tion Com­mis­sion and Yel­low River Wa­ter Trail group and is on the board of di­rec­tors for Smart Growth New­ton County, New­ton Trails and the New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity.

He and his wife, Me­lanie Sheets, have two sons, Wes­ley and Zachary, and at­tend Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church. Sheets is a fourth-grade teacher at Heard-Mixon El­e­men­tary School.

Cham­bers can be reached by email at cham­berssheets@char­ter. net, by phone at 770-7845894 and by mail at P.O. Box 877, Por­terdale, GA 30070.

When asked, Cham­bers said he had no crim­i­nal back­ground, no fi­nan­cial is­sues and was cur­rent on all fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure and cam­paign con­tri­bu­tion re­ports re­quired for elected of­fi­cials.

He does not have any own­er­ship stake in any busi­nesses.

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