After three and a half years of service, on December 15, 2017, Councilman Joe Whatley officially announced his resignation from the Athens City Council. On January 8, 2018, during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Mayor Monte Montgomery and Council thanked him for his faithful service to the City Council with a plaque in his honor.
Having previously served on the board of the Athens Municipal Water Authority (AMWA), Whatley’s motivating force for running for City Council was to see that the City’s water utilities were improved and strengthened in order to better serve the citizens of Athens. Water remained Whatley’s number on focus throughout his time on the City Council, though he involved himself in all affairs of the City in order to remain as knowledgeable as possible so that he could make informed, confident decisions.
“Joe had a huge impact on the City Council during his term and was passionate about serving the citizens of Athens” said Mayor, Monte Montgomery. “His knowledge and expertise regarding our water and utilities systems were an asset to the City Council. We will forever be indebted to him as a City for the countless hours that he spent assisting in all matters related to these topics, and specifically with his help on the time-consuming Water Study Report that took place a few years ago.”
Pictured above: Former Councilman Joe Whatley and Mayor Monte Montgomery just after presenting Mr. Whatley with his plaque on January 8, 2018.
In a Special Called Session on December 20, 2017, Council members unanimously voted to appoint Aaron “Bubba” Smith to the City Council to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Whatley. On Monday, January 8th, Councilman Smith took his seat and will finish Whatley’s term through May 2018.
At the Monday, January 8th Regular City Council Session, Mr. Whatley left the Council and citizens of Athens with a heartfelt farewell. He stated: “First, I'd like to thank the citizens of Athens for electing me to serve on the City Council. It has been a great honor and privilege doing so these past few years. When I first started on the City Council my main focus was on the growth of Athens and the water utilities. I can confidently say that there have been great advances in both areas during my time here. This is due in great part to the strong past and present Council members that I was fortunate enough to serve with and also to an outstanding AEDC and AMWA. Every member past/and present of these boards has my utmost respect. It is often a difficult task with no clear answers, and you must decide what is best for the whole of the community, not just a select few. The next few months are going to be very time demanding and I, unfortunately, will not be available to dedicate my time and attention to the city that it deserves. That is why I’m confident that it is the right time for me to step aside. I have mentioned to council and the mayor that I will always make myself available to help in future issues with water or wherever I can be of assistance. Once again thank you and may God continue to bless my beautiful home town of Athens.”
The City of Athens wishes to thank Mr. Whatley for his dedicated service to the City and citizens of Athens. His presence on the Council will certainly be missed.
For questions regarding the City Council, current City Council members, or the upcoming May 2018 elections, please contact City Hall at 903.675.5131 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.