Port Wentworth City Council moves forward after weeks of councilor absences

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PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV) – Port Wentworth City Council is moving forward after a new city council member was sworn in. The council voted on business that’s been on hold for months because there weren’t enough councilors present to vote on city business.

The city council finally had enough voting members in attendance voting on projects that have sat idle. Over the last few meetings, two council members decided not to show but they were there Wednesday night.

“I’ve been in this area 47 years and every time I’ve come to a council meeting something was done,” a Port Wentworth resident said.

It’s been a political tug of war for the last few months putting city business in limbo.

“It feels good that we’re functioning again. I think it’s going to be a good time in the city from here on out,” Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton said.

All council members in attendance at Wednesday night’s meeting came ready to move forward and put the feuds behind them. All items on the agenda were approved including a new apartment complex in Port Wentworth. The council has been waiting to make a decision since a rowdy council meeting in December.

“I want to apologize to all of the constituents and the business community who got stuck in the middle,” Council Member, Thomas Barbee said.

Barbee was one of two councilors boycotting meetings. He said there have been problems in the past leading up to this feud about how the city was operating.

“The delay was about a larger issue of respect for this community and the representation that we desperately need on the council,” Barbee said.

In the stack of resumes, Governor Brian Kemp appointed Donald Hodges for the job. Councilmember Linda Smith called this new appointment a breath of fresh air.

“I’m so happy that we have a lot of people that are on the council and we are willing to work together. We just got to do it and come together to the table and there’s nothing wrong with a healthy debate,” Smith said.

“I actually suggested that a long time ago, but now I’m proud to see that it’s coming to fruition,” Council Member, Mark Stephens said.

Another major item approved at Wednesday night’s meeting was a new Amazon Fulfillment Center. Mayor Norton said there are some bridges the council will still have to get over but they are headed in the right direction.

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