Covington Councilman Keith Dalton will run for a second term this November, because he feels he's needed.
"As tough as economic times are in the whole country and in Georgia - we've had some of the highest unemployment in the nation - my conservative voice is needed now more than it was four years ago," Dalton said this week.
Dalton, 46, is the owner of Covington Window Cleaners, which does contract office cleaning, commercial lawn maintenance, pressure washing and carpet and floor cleaning. He employs five full staff and around a dozen part-time employees.
He said, if elected, he will continue to work to keep taxpayers costs down, including taxes and utility rates. The city has invested millions of dollars to keep electricity rates down, and recently agreed to hold off on a water rate increase until customers could be given a few months warning.
As far as long term goals, Dalton said it's too difficult to do true long range planning given the economy, so his focus will be on keeping spending down to save money for business and residents.
"I don't care if it's my budget, my church's or the city's; you have to be fiscally responsible. You can't spend money you don't have," Dalton said.
In addition to owning Covington Window Cleaners on at least a part-time basis since late 1985, Dalton said he was an Oxford police officer for more than six years, including a couple of years as police chief, and a Covington police officer for less than five years.
At Covington, he was a patrolman and a public relations officer. He said he taught safety classes around the city. He was courted to work in Oxford, eventually serving as police chief. He said a federal grant helped him hire more officers and greatly increase the police department's sophistication of equipment and technology.
Dalton graduated Newton County High School in 1983 and then attended what is now Georgia College, in Milledgeville, for two years. He said he also attended courses at DeKalb Technical College.
He is actively involved in Relay for Life fundraising and is a member of the local Elks Lodge 1806.
Dalton has been married to his wife, Kim, for 17 years and has two daughters, Erika, 22, and Grace, 15.
"It has been a pleasure for me and an honor to be elected and being able to serve. The citizens know what they're going to get with me," Dalton said. "If they'd like to have me back I would love to serve another term, if they don't, I wholeheartedly understand."