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Posted: October 24, 2013 11:59 p.m.

Cronyism, nepotism and jokes

Dear Editor:

Newton County and the city of Covington have become adherents to the city of Atlanta and DeKalb County in the manner in which they hire high-level employees. They use a cronyism, nepotism and "good ol’ boy" type of procedure in their selections. An applicant’s merit or experience does not even seem to enter into the equation. The city of Covington recently created a debacle when they solicited applicants from the public for the position of city manager. They apparently already knew that one of their own was to be selected. Many people who really thought they had a chance for the position applied, but they only wasted their time and hopes.

A non-elected recreation board in Newton County recently selected a director. This selection process was another big joke. The qualifications and experience this board required for the position were both ludicrous and comical. The "good ol’ boys on the Rec. Board then said they would only take applications from county employees. What a hell of a way to treat the taxpaying citizens of Newton County, who pay their salary. I hope the Newton County government doesn’t post signs on county property stating they are an "equal opportunity employer.’’ This would be a further embarrassment. The Rec. Board accepted letters of recommendation from the Newton County sheriff and Covington's assistant police chief in support of one of the candidates. The existence of the letters was published in a local paper. This type of letter, when accepted, is intimidating and detrimental to the other applicants. The Board is sending a clear message that an applicant must have the support of a state constitutional office and also the support of a governmental office that is empowered with "the police powers of the state" before you can be selected.

The bottom line is that a potential qualified applicant would be crazy to apply for a job with Newton County or the city of Covington. One would have to wonder about the reasoning ability of the people of Newton County. After all, there are still a few people in the Town and Country subdivision who believe the city of Covington distributes their city services in an equal manner.

Harry L. Long

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