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Posted: August 5, 2014 8:29 p.m.

County denies city's request for more panel members

The Newton County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday dismissed the city of Covington's request for six more members on the planned 2050 citizens' panel, quickly reaching a consensus that 13 was the number of members originally agreed upon and there was no reason to change that.

Commissioner John Douglas made a motion to add a discuss of the city's Monday night actions to the agenda Tuesday, but it died for lack of a second.

"I was in that (coalition) meeting and we decided on 13," said Commissioner Lanier Sims. "I don't see any reason we should be taking action on this matter."

Douglas agreed: "It was set all along at 13 and I'd like to leave it at that."

Commission Chairman Keith Ellis announced that the commission had a consensus to leave membership at 13, wtih the city retaining its single panel member. The city had requested seven members on the panel, equaling the one commissioner-to-one citizen appointee granted to the county. City Councilman Chris Smith said the city had paid the same amount as the county for the 2050 Plan, and should therefore have the same number of members of the panel.

The city's request would have pushed membership to 20.

"It's going to be too large for them achieve what they've been tasked to do" if membership was increased that much, Ellis said.

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