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Posted: July 16, 2010 9:07 p.m.

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Candidates for County Commissioner, BOE positions to speak at Smart Growth Newton County event

Smart Growth Newton County will host a Candidates forum on June 28 at 7 p.m. The forum will be held at the Washington Street Community Center which is located at 4138 School Street. All candidates for the office of Newton County Commissioner as well as all candidates for the Newton County Board of Education are invited to participate. At this time it is anticipated that due to the large number of candidates there will be no time for "question and answer." Rather, each candidate will be given a 3- or 4-minute opportunity to introduce himself or herself to the voters in attendance. However, depending on the actual turn-out, there may be time for the candidates to field a few questions from the audience.

Each candidate will be given the opportunity to respond to a series of questions which will be posted on Smart Growth’s website. The candidates’ responses to those questions will be posted as well.

Light refreshments will be served after the candidates have spoken. The public is invited.

Smart Growth Newton County is a non partisan coalition of citizens committed to smart growth principles and their application to Newton County and its municipalities. We believe that current development patterns, dominated by sprawl, no longer serve the best long-term interests of Newton County, its municipalities, existing suburbs, and rural communities. Though supportive of growth, we question the economic and environmental costs of abandoning or ignoring existing infrastructure in cities, towns, and other logical areas only to rebuild it farther out. We believe in growth that is town-centered and pedestrian oriented, that mixes housing, commercial, and retail uses, and that preserves open space and environmental amenities. Ultimately, we believe this approach to growth promotes quality of life and a sense of place and community.

"We are pleased that so many of our citizens are willing to step forward to become public servants," said Jonathan Paschal, president of Smart Growth Newton County. "We want to provide an opportunity for them to meet with the public and express their views on issues that face Newton County both today and in the future. In these economic times, true leaders need to step forward to help direct the actions of our schools and local governments. We have heard from most of the candidates and the majority has indicated that they would attend our forum."

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