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Posted: August 21, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Good decisions made for 2050

We believe Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting was the most critical in recent memory, and we applaud the commissioners for their efforts.

The biggest take-away was of course the 2050 Plan. Three commissioners voted to retain the plan.

To continue to work on a plan for the future of Newton County was an important and brave decision for future generations. There has been a tremendous amount of public outcry about the proposed ordinances, the most vocal of course being to squash it.

It is good to see elected officials braving the storm and willing to make adjustments so the next wave does not crash so hard as to bring down the house.

A plan for the future of the county is necessary to avoid erratic and unreasonable building and developing that has occurred in Newton and other counties.

The vote to fight on is not the most popular decision. The meeting’s following proposal, however, was with a unanimous vote to eliminate the 10- and 20-acre issue in the proposed baseline ordinances.

During public hearings on the 2050 Plan, time and time again people spoke out about being restricted in building on their 10- and 20-acre lots in rural and conservative zones. The commissioners proved they were listening, and they proved they were listening to the public’s input and thinking through their policies.

In the evening’s other important vote for the county’s future, the commissioners continued to work on setting the tone for Newton County’s future.

Thanks to a 3-2 motion, the BOC will host a work session on the county’s form of government.

Our form of government is a manager-council (in this case commission) style, where the manager works on the day-to-day business. However, Newton County has a full-time chairman, a full-time outgoing manager and a full-time manager-in-waiting. That is too many cooks in the kitchen trying to add their own spices.

We need to settle on one flavor of government, and Tuesday night was a big step in doing that. The Aug. 26 work session will be an even bigger step, and we are looking forward to see which way it will take the future of Newton County.

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