Keith Dalton is seeking his third term on the Covington city council, facing off against newcomer Joshua McKelvey.
Who is Keith Dalton: Born and raised in Covington, Dalton took business courses at Georgia College in Milledgeville before taking a job as a policeman for the City of Covington. After training at the Police Academy, he served on the force for five years before becoming Oxford’s Chief of Police, a position he held for six years.
In the mid-1980s, he opened a business, Covington Window Cleaners, Inc., which he has run ever since.
Why does he want to run for office: Dalton is finishing his second term as a council member and said he has benefitted from having been on the other side, a government employee. He is proud of pushing for the police department to have take-home cars throughout the entire department.
The other thing he is proud of is being part of the council as the city went through one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. “Newton County had been the sixth in the nation in growth,” he said. “Then the housing bubble burst [in 2008]. There was page after page of repossessions. People walked away from their houses. Developers walked away from subdivisions.
“Covington still has a higher percentage unemployment rate—between nine and 11 percent—than the 5.5 percent for the rest of the state,” he said. “We were able to get through the hard times. We had to make tough decisions, trim the budget, but we didn’t have to lay a single person off or furlough them.”
What he plans on bringing to the council: As the economy picks back up, Dalton said, the city needs “smart growth, having what we want here instead of taking what’s thrust at us. I’m a big proponent of selling our own story and a firm believer that a rising tide floats all boats. What’s good for the city is good for the county, and what’s good for the county is good for the city.”
He said he looks at things from a fiscal standpoint, determining where the money to pay for something is coming from and who will benefit from the proposal. “It can’t just be one or two people,” he said. “It has to be good for everyone.”
Family: Dalton has been married to Kim Dalton for 21 years. The couple has two daughters.