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Recently, the Newton Citizen newspaper asked both candidates to answer a series of questions about themselves and their respective campaigns.  In the Sunday, October 13 edition of the Citizen, answers were presented edited for space.  This is the first of three blog posts providing my full answers to the three key questions asked.

Please identify what you view as the top three priorities for the city of Covington in the next four years and please be specific about how, if elected, you would take action to address those priorities:
  1. Economic Development – A healthy mix of businesses is crucial to sustain our local economy and provide diverse employment options for residents.  Covington has done well on the industrial front, but we are seriously behind in commercial development.  I will press for clear plans and strategies to boost retail business in Covington.  We have specifics that need to be addressed, such as utility rates that disproportionately burden commercial businesses.  We also have economic demographics to overcome.  But, we have to sell to our strengths, while taking deliberate steps to address our weaknesses.
  2. Increasing Quality of Life Choices – Quality of life means something different to each of us, but the key word is “choices.”  To attract young professionals and retain our own young people, we must offer diverse options for making a complete life here.  That means more restaurants and shopping; green space, parks, and passive recreation; and walkable streetscapes in live/work/play settings.  I will renew the Council’s focus on studies already completed and projects identified for the Highway 278, Pace Street, and Washington Street corridors.  I will be proactive in pursuing those visions and plans, doing all I can to end the practice of sitting and waiting for better days to find us.
  3. Building a Sustainable Future – Yesterday’s accomplishments brought us to today, but they cannot carry us to tomorrow.  The council, mayor, and city staff must constantly assess our strengths and weaknesses – leveraging the former and working to address the latter.  We must seek out opportunities that address our long-range objectives, while confronting head-on the issues that threaten our overall goals.  As a councilmember, I will make strategic thinking and results-orientation essential ingredients in how we run the business of the city.
 


Comments

TERRENCE GROSS
10/14/2013 3:43pm

what are the plans for the Salem Rd corridor. Also why are the facilities that are present not being used fully, such as the Turner Hill Rec center. They close too early and on weekends when people are more likely to be used.

Reply
10/14/2013 6:16pm

Terrence,

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and post your question. The Salem Road Corridor is actually outside the Covington city limits, so it's not something I would have oversight of as a City Council Member. I do know there have been a number of public input sessions to discuss plans for that corridor. Nancy Schulz is the County Commissioner who district includes that corridor, and she would be an excellent resource to contact with your question. She can be reached at: nschulz@co.newton.ga.us.

As for your other question, I believe you were referring to the Turner Lake Complex. That is actually a facility operated by the Newton County Recreation Commission, not the City of Covington. It does, however, sit within the city limits. Turner Lake is certainly a good example of the type of quality of life amenities I believe are crucial to our community's future. Unfortunately, as you probably know, the county faces serious budgetary challenges right now, which also affects the rec commission. The county is focusing right now on a strategic plan. I would urge you to contact your county commission representative and let him/her know how important Turner Lake is to you and to suggest hours of operation that meet your needs.

thanks,
Maurice

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