Government

Mayor and Council

The City of Port Wentworth is a Georgia municipal corporation with an elected Mayor and six elected Council Members. Council Members are elected for Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4; the Mayor and two Council Members are elected at-large; and the Council elects a Mayor Pro-Tem.

Mayor and Council meets the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., no pre-agenda. Meetings are held at the new Port Wentworth City Hall, 7224 GA Highway 21, Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407. For dates and times of special call meetings, workshops and/or public hearings, contact the Clerk of Council at 912-964-4379 or click here to view the calendar.
City of Port Wentworth Elected Officials

Mayor Gary Norton

912.856.0114 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

gnorton@cityofportwentworth.com

  • Gary Norton was born and raised in Port Wentworth where he played football and baseball from the age of  6 to 18. At the age of 21 he coached the last Colt League in the history of Port Wentworth at the request of Lewis Mobley, whose son played on the team. He graduated from Groves High School in 1975 furthering his education in management through the International Management Council. In 1981, Gary married Donna Alford-Norton from Pooler. They have a daughter, a son, and five grandchildren. Mr. Norton raised his two children in Port Wentworth where he volunteered on the Recreation Department for 6 years. He coached his daughter’s softball teams for 7 years leading the 16 & Under girls team to the CAA Championship. He also coached his son’s baseball, football and basketball teams for 2 years.

    Mr. Norton is employed at International Paper in Port Wentworth where he has earned “Safety Champion” status while serving on the Mill Wide Safety Team. He was ordained a Deacon at North Salem Baptist Church in 1990 where he functioned on the Board of Deacons for 6 years, as well as volunteered as a RA Director and on the Youth Recreation Committee. Mr. Norton also served as PTO President at Chapel-In-The-Gardens PCA School in Garden City, Georgia where his children attended. In 2009, Gary was elected to the Port Wentworth City Council and served until 2011 where he was successful in rezoning property on Highway 21 from Grange Road to Cargo Group from industrial to light industrial. 
The Mayor is elected by voters at-large and serves a four year term. The six Council Members are elected from single member districts and serve staggered four year terms.

Mayor Pro Tem Linda Smith  

912.856.9624 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

lsmith@cityofportwentworth.com

  • Linda Watson Smith, was born on July 18, 1954 in Savannah, Georgia and is the daughter of the late Hilton Lloyd Watson and Nora Alice Watson. Linda attended public school in Savannah, Georgia and in Jacksonville, Florida. She is one of six siblings and is married to Eddie H. Smith. Linda has three children, Shonda Delk, Larry Mansfield, Jr., and Anthony Smith, and has lived in Port Wentworth since 1987.    
    Linda's working career has been mostly with Chatham County, where she was employed with the District Attorney's Office. Prior to working with the District Attorney, Linda graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida where she began working for University Hospital as a ward secretary in pediatrics. Linda also served on the Board of Zoning and Appeals and the Planning Commission for the City of Port Wentworth for 15 years and was named Citizen of the Year in 2016.  
    Today, Linda is retired from Chatham County but works part-time at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Savannah. She also serves on the Citizen Review Panel for Chatham County Juvenile Court and does volunteer work with Westview Nursing Home and the Ed Young Senior Citizen Center. Last but not least, Linda is very active in her church, First Baptist Church of Port Wentworth. There, she teaches and serves on several committees. Her faith and her Christian walk are of utmost importance to her. 

Donald H. Hodges | Council Member, District 1 

912.856.2251 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

dhodges@cityofportwentworth.com

 
  • Donald (Herschel) Hodges moved to Port Wentworth, Georgia with his parents back in 1950. He then went on to attend Groves High School in Garden City, Georgia where he achieved three years letterman in football along with being awarded All City, Golden Helmet, and Most Athletic. 

     

    Mr. Hodges enlisted in the United States Air Force and attended the Air Force Police Academy. After which, he made several deployments to Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Following his tenure in the Air Force, Hodges was employed by The Georgia Port Authority as an Industrial Electrician for approximately two years. During this period, he also enlisted in the Air National Guard. 

     

    Hodges later became employed as the superintendent of Hutchinson Island for the Savannah Army Corps of Engineers. While there he spent time at multiple schools and colleges for classes in such things as business management, environmental law, and federal grant writing. He also attended dive school in Key West, Florida where he obtained advanced diver skills and knowledge.

    In 1990 Hodges was activated by the Air National Guard for Dessert Storm One. In the course of this assignment he took a full-time position in Security Forces in the Active Guard Reserves (AGR) and traveled to multiple countries for drug interdictions in South America. 


    On September 11, 2001 Hodges was mobilized in his rank as Chief Master Sargent to supervise 65 members of the 165th Security Forces Squadron in support of Operation Noble Eagle. He was later deployed to Afghanistan, Kurdistan, and Baghdad.

     

    Before retiring from his 32-year military career Hodges has received the following:

    • Air Force Achievement Medal
    • Three (3) Air Force Accommodation Medals
    • Three (3) Meritorious Service Medals
    • The Bronze Star
    • Jump Wings

     

    In 2007 Hodges was chosen to be the first Anti-terrorism officer at the 165th Air National Guard. He retired from this position in 2016 and currently serves as a volunteer at the Veterans Administration clinic in Savannah.

     

    On February 18, 2020 Donald H. Hodges was sworn in as District 1 Council Member for the City of Port Wentworth. Since his induction, Councilman Hodges has been a welcomed addition to the Port Wentworth body of officials.

Mark Stephens | Council Member, District 2

912.675.4151 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

mstephens@cityofportwentworth.com

  • Mark Stephens, SSCP is a member of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (aka (ISC)^2) and holds degrees in both Criminal Justice and Information Security and Assurance from Atlanta Metropolitan College & Kennesaw State University respectively.  He is responsible for helping to secure data and the networks of a multibillion dollar Global Aerospace Company by performing multiple roles within Information Security.  Mark currently holds several Information Technology certifications and in the past, has held technical certifications from organizations such as Cisco Systems, Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft.  Mr. Stephens moved to Port Wentworth in 2013 and enjoys traveling, discovering great music, researching Information Security and technical issues & spending time with his family.

Lynwood Griner | Council Member, District 3 

912.856.3634 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

lgriner@cityofportwentworth.com

  • Lynwood Griner was born on June 6, 1966 at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. and spent most of his childhood on Godley Road in Port Wentworth with his parents and grandparents. Lynwood spent lots of hours fishing, hunting, trapping, riding go carts and motorcycles in the wooded areas on Godley Road and in the many hunting clubs between Port Wentworth and Pooler. “I’ve seen many changes to Port Wentworth, Pooler, and Garden City in my lifetime. I can remember riding on I-95 from Godley Road to Pooler when I-95 was still dirt.”

    Lynwood served in the 165th GANG from 1984 -1991 as a Fuels Inventory Management Specialists and as the WRSK manager. Lynwood has served as a Jailor at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and with the following Police Departments: Bloomingdale, Garden City, Rincon, and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office. Lynwood also managed Grist Equipment Rental and now owns a small trucking company, LRG Transport Inc

    Lynwood desires to move the City of Port Wentworth in a positive direction while meeting the needs of all its citizens. Lynwood will strive to make Port Wentworth the best place to live and raise a family.

Glenn Jones | Council Member, District 4

912.856.9428 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

gjones@cityofportwentworth.com

Thomas Barbee | Council Member, At-Large 

912.856.0398 - Business Cell 

912.964.4379 - Office

tbarbee@cityofportwentworth.com

 
  • Thomas Barbee is currently serving his second term as Councilman for the City of Port Wentworth. Mr. Barbee holds the title record for the most electoral votes in the history of Port Wentworth.

    Serving people and the community is Councilman Thomas Barbee's motto. He is a very familiar and friendly face to many residents of Port Wentworth. Born in Tennessee and raised in Indiana, he joined the United States Air Force in 1984 and retired in 2005 after 21 years of service. His work at the Pentagon along with decades of service ingrained a strong belief in accountability that guides him still and core values instilled by the Air Force “Integrity, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do”. Barbee moved to Port Wentworth in August 2011 and fell in love with the pulse of the community.

    In 2014, he accepted the appointment for Community Watch Chairmen of Rice Creek, working tirelessly alongside other leaders to create safer neighborhoods. He could see the potential for growth and opportunity and wanted to be a part of that growth. Barbee holds several college degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management and two Associate degrees; Criminal Justice and Information Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
     
    Barbee leads by example, always in help mode. "Intentions are good but results count" is also his motto. A city is an ever changing community and he appreciates his neighbors for electing him to his seat.  He is happy with the progress that has been made, but optimistic that even more will be made in the future. For Barbee, there is no greater reward in public service than knowing that he helped to make a difference in his community!

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