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Bear Creek session moved to Nov. 5
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners public meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 4, election night, has been rescheduled for Monday Nov. 3.

The work session that was also supposed to be on Nov. 4, concerning the Bear Creek Reservoir project, was moved to Tuesday, Nov. 5 after a motion by Commissioner John Douglas.

Douglas made the motion amended to the agenda, and got a unanimous vote 4-0 — Chairman Keith Ellis was absent with Lanier Sims serving in a Vice Chairman role — to move the meeting and work session with the stipulation of an altered format.

County attorney Tommy Craig will present information on the Bear Creek Reservoir project to the board, before opening it up to public comment.

“I would like to be informed fully prior to the format shifting gears and being handed over to Mr. Craig’s fan club,” Commissioner Levi Maddox said to the board. “We do need public engagement, but in the first segment we need to be up to speed.”

Craig said he would answer all public questions for as long as it took.

“We can have a free-for-all. I’ll stay here as long as people want,” Craig said.

The reservoir project and county governmental transparency were the hot topics during Tuesday meetings public comments. That provoked Maddox to ask for one more proviso for the work session.

“We need a sergeant of arms and some rules,” Maddox said. “Bear Creek Reservoir is not about Mr. Craig, it’s about the county’s prosperity and its future.

“We can holler all we want and criticize the numbers, but we don’t have the facts yet.”