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I was searching for something else, when I happened across this 2003 Georgia Trend article featuring the Cities of Excellence selected that year by the magazine and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA).  Visit Covington City Hall or the city's web site, and you'll see this emblem proudly displayed, and rightly so.
Covington was one of 10 cities honored that year. 

What caught my eye, reading this story years later, were the criteria spelled out by the panelists selecting the winners.  "All of the cities were financially sound, living well within their budgets. All of them had visionary leaders. But those cities that had developed a real sense of community, in my mind, are the ones that stood out."

"All of the cities were financially sound, living well within their budgets. All of them had visionary leaders. But those cities that had developed a real sense of community, in my mind, are the ones that stood out."
That's Covington in a nutshell.  It's also the essence of why I am running for city council.  Fiscal responsibility is a given, but it's also a "meets minimum" requirement.  Not spending beyond your means is important, but delivering a tangible value with the money you spend is what sets any operation apart -- be it a business, a government, or a community. 

The key is return on investment -- ROI.  In private enterprise, that return is typically profit.  But, in government, the return is less tangible, but no less important.  It's measured by value.  It's measured by quality of life.  It's measured by creating a sense of place that draws people together and leaves them with a sense of wanting to be where they are, and not somewhere else.


For some, it's an abundance of green space and passive recreation opportunities.  For others, it's a bustling downtown, a diversity of dining choices, or a thriving arts community.  It's employment choices for one, and a small business-friendly environment for another.  Whatever it is, we all know it when we see it.

I urge you to take a trip down memory lane and reread the 2003 article.  It will renew your pride in where you live and also give you an appreciation for how each city is different, and yet somehow alike.  They each offer something special and unique to set that community apart from the pack, and that's the name of the game when it comes to attracting new employers and future investment.


Covington is a City of Excellence because it's an excellent place to live.  I ask you to join me in making sure we continue to reach beyond "meets minimum" to retain a special place we proudly call "our community."
 


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