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Posted: January 15, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Our thoughts... Change of venue

At a recent mayors’ meeting, Covington Mayor Kim Carter said the city had received some negative press about the March planning retreat for the council and mayor.

 "We’ve taken some hits in the newspaper the last month or so for going on a planning retreat, but it’s because of good planning, the retreat we had two years ago, that we were able to attract the Affordable Equity Partners to Covington, which will be a $9 million groundbreaking, investment in July. That’s taxable property," said Carter at the meeting.

 She went on to say that housing, community development and streamlining customer service were goals of the last retreat, which currently are all being acted upon through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and enabling residents to pay water bills online.

 Madam Mayor, apparently you just don’t get it.

 The press, at least The Covington News, doesn’t have a problem with the mayor and city council of Covington having a retreat, especially if it’s going to be a benefit for the taxpaying citizens of the city.

 What the press has a concern with is that in the toughest of economic times, when people are struggling to pay taxes and mortgages, you and your council have decided that you can waste $6,500 dollars of our taxes to hold a retreat in the mountain resort town of Young Harris. We have a problem with the council going almost out of state for this retreat in spite of the fact that there are many places in our community and surrounding communities to hold a retreat.

 Madam Mayor, you made the same miscalculation of our community’s concern when you wanted to update the elected officials office at a very inflated price.

 We thought you might have learned from that experience.

 We are going to ask you again to be the leader you were elected to be and admit that paying $6,500 for a retreat during a recession is wrong and help make plans to hold the city’s retreat locally, just like the elected officials of Porterdale are planning to do.

 A collaboration of great ideas can occur in any setting.

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