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Carter presides over 2008's first council meeting
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Monday night marked Kim Carter's first council meeting as mayor of Covington.

Under Carter the evening's format differed slightly from the flow established by former Mayor Sam Ramsey. Public comments were moved up on the agenda to before invoices. Public comment time was formerly scheduled after invoices.

"We're putting the public comments earlier on so people don't have to wait so long," Carter said.

Carter's style in chairing the council meeting differed from that of Ramsey in that Carter took a more explanatory role. Whereas Ramsey would often move through the agenda without pausing, Carter took time to read off each agenda item to the audience and to explain even the more mundane items.

As it was the first meeting of 2008 the council made several appointments. Among them was Councilman Mike Whatley as Mayor Pro Tem for 2008.

 The mayor pro tem position is a rotating one. During an absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tem serves in her place.

The council also reappointed City Attorney Ed Crudup, Municipal Court Judge David Strickland and City Physician Newton Medial Associates. The council will be making 26 other appointments and reappointments over the next several months.

In other Covington City Council news:

• The council asked Crudup to re-examine the feasibility of adopting an impact fee ordinance in the wake of the Newton County Superior Court's December decision upholding the validity of the county's impact fee ordinance.

• City Manager Steve Horton announced that a committee formed last year to look into the possibility of a roundup bill payment program to assist residences struggling to pay their utility bills had made some strides and would be presenting suggestions at the next meeting.

• The council approved a liquor license for Pacho's Mexican Grill on U.S. Highway 278.