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Posted: February 7, 2012 8:34 p.m.

Steve Horton to remain city manager

Covington City Manager Steve Horton has tentatively agreed to remain in his position until June 2013 and delay plans to retire this summer.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston had publically stated he wanted Horton to remain on board and Johnston announced the success of his efforts Monday night.

The city will attempt to work out an official agreement with Horton to keep him as city manager for an additional fiscal year. If an agreement cannot be reached for some reason, Horton has agreed to remain city manager until a replacement can be found, Johnston said.

"The decision to stay involves several things, chief among them is the overwhelming response of the citizens that have talked with me and offered their verbal comments of support and requests for me stay. It is the people in this community that make it what it is and it is them that I have a heart for," Horton said in a Tuesday email. "Next, the mayor has committed to me that he sincerely plans to be an advocate of all citizens and will foster and support positive economic and community development initiatives. Knowing these things about the mayor, I want to help him in his transition, which is at least a year long process.

Horton said he also appreciated the encouragement he received from council members and county officials and said he wants to help carry out some programs that were born out of the city's recently-completed three-year strategic plan.

"Lastly, this is my home and I hope that my further participation during the transition will benefit our employees and citizens and help to ensure that as much institutional and community knowledge as possible gets passed on and discussed so as to promote sound understanding of where our community has come from, the challenges we have overcome, and the future we hope to see become a reality," he said."

Horton has served as city manager since November 2005 and has also worked as assistant city manager, public works director and police chief in his 34 years with the city.

"First I believe the next couple of years is very important to Covington and I cannot think of a better person to help guide this city through this important time. I believe his leadership and integrity is invaluable at this time. I believe the economy is going to be turning around and the city of Covington will be better prepared to take advantage of that growth with Steve Horton's leadership," Johnston said in an email Tuesday.

"I honestly believe that after we have spent some time together it became clear that our vision for this city was the same and found that we were both man of strong faith and in love with the city."

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