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Ronnie Cowan to run for District 5 Commissioner

Covington Human Resource Director and long-time Newton County resident Ronnie Cowan announced his intent to qualify as a candidate for District 5 of the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

Cowan has worked in Newton County for more than 37 tears, starting as a Covington police officer, being promoted to Lieutenant and then serving as the first accreditation manager for the Covington Police Department. He then served as Covington’s human resource director starting in 1990, practiced law for two years with firms that represented Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority and the city of Oxford. He returned to Covington in 2007, serving in the roles of administrative services director and human resources director.

He will be retiring from the city of Covington this year, and returning to practicing law.

During his tenure with the city of Covington, Cowan has helped improve the quality of the city’s employee benefit and pay plans.

“I am pleased to say that, with the help of the city council, Covington offers an excellent salary and benefit package for its employees,” Cowan said. “If elected to serve as the District 5 Commissioner, I will bring this expertise to the county and will work to improve the pay and benefits of the county workers.”

Cowan feels he can use that expertise, and knowledge of the costs of employee turnover to find a way to attract and keep good employees in the county.

“The knowledge that a long term employee brings to a community, whether it is a deputy, a fire fighter, an inspector, a court clerk, or a general office worker is invaluable in providing high quality service to local citizens,” Cowan said.

Cowan served the board of commissioners recently, working as Chair of Newton County’s citizens committee on form of government. That committee formed the basis of what will most likely become Newton County’s new charter. The charter is currently in the Georgia legislature, after being approved by the board of commissioners.

“The removal of the powers of the Chairman without a plan for the creation of a County Manager form of government severely paralyzed our County’s operation and decision making,” Cowan said. “This was an incredible challenge, however, the completed report and recommendations formed the basis of the current enabling legislation under review by the Georgia General Assembly.

“I am glad to have served our county in this capacity.”

Cowan has been married to his wife, Angela, for 36 years, and the couple has two children, Jacob of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Evelyn, who along with her husband Chad Kellett, has a daughter Addie Rose Kellett of Rutledge.

“It is my desire to see Newton County fulfill its potential as a growing and sustainable community by providing the amenities for living, working, and playing,” Cowan said.

“I am a strong believer in strategic planning and I believe that a commitment to a detailed strategy and plan is the best way to deal with the issues of economic development, land use, solid waste, water production, recreation, county owned facilities and human resource management. I believe that when these issues are addressed in a planned strategy, the County’s tax base will grow in a manner consistent with its service delivery costs and future tax increases can be avoided as the County’s operation becomes more efficient.

“If elected to serve, I will endeavor to improve productivity and efficiency in county operations so that the citizens can receive the best county services at a reasonable cost.”