At Monday’s city council meeting, a proclamation was presented to honor the judge and his work with the city.
“I appreciate the honor of serving the city of Alpharetta for 20 years — 12 years as a councilman, eight years as a judge,” he said during the presentation.
Matoney said his time spent on the council, where he was elected in 1994, was more difficult than his time as municipal judge, which began in 2005.
“Being a judge was very easy for me. I had the support of a tremendous group of people,” he said.
One of those people is his wife Lois, who he said he couldn’t have served without.
She spoke about her husband, saying, “He has loved his time with the city, and it’s nice to see the city grow and be a part of it. I’m lucky to be his partner.”
Councilman D.C. Aiken served on city council with Matoney for several years and said the judge took him under his wing.
“Jim actually talked me into becoming a councilman, and I can’t thank him more for that opportunity,” he said.
Aiken said Matoney had a hand in all the progress Alpharetta is seeing, with projects like the Avalon development and City Center.
“He helped set the path that the city is currently on,” he said.
Aiken also said Matoney ran the court system smoothly in his eight years as municipal judge.
“Being the liaison to the court, I didn’t have to deal with phone calls about how awful our court was. Our court was run outstandingly,” he said.
Before joining the council, Matoney spent 36 years working for Shell Oil Company. Then, he earned a law degree from Mercer University in 1991 and used his new profession to provide free legal services to battered women.
In October, the city of Alpharetta appointed a new municipal judge, Barry L. Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who was chosen from 65 candidates, will be sworn in next month.