Charles Wilborn said he wants to be involved in bettering his city in every way possible, so he’s once again running for Covington City Council.
Wilborn will seek the West District Post 2 seat, a position he previously held for 14 years from 1991 to 2005, before losing to Hawnethia Williams.
Wilborn, who works four jobs and is an active member of five local organizations, said he loves his city, but he doesn’t like what’s happening with the Covington square.
"Downtown Covington is a good place, it’s one of the fastest growing cities, yet we have stores closing, failing," he said. "People can’t buy bread (at the square). Men want to buy suits, but they have no place to go. We don’t need people to go to Conyers and we don’t need the Covington square to die. I’ve worked on the square for 43 years, and I remember what it once was. It can be that way again."
Wilborn said his main priority would be the expansion and revitalization of downtown. He said he wants to work with the The Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet Covington to bring more stores to the area, including a grocery store. Wilborn said he also wants to work to bring more industrial jobs to the Covington.
"I know the economy is tough, but we need to work at this," Wilborn said.
Wilborn said he is no stranger to hard work, evidenced by his current work schedule, which includes: substitute teaching at schools around Newton County, being a greeter at R.L.'s Off the Square on Friday and Saturday nights, being a salesman at New Shoez on Friday and Saturday mornings and running a tailoring business from home.
He also serves with five local organizations, including as a board member on the Newton County Water and Sewage Authority, vice chairman of Covington Habitat for Humanity, former president and current member of the Covington Kiwanis Club, former chairman and current member of Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful and as a panel member with the Newton County Juvenile Court.
He regularly works with kids while teaching and serving on the Juvenile Court Review Panel and he said he wants to take that work further if elected council member. Wilborn said he would work with Newton County Recreation Department Director Tommy Hailey to provide more support programs for the youth of Covington.
"We need somewhere to mentor our young people," he said. "I feel like I can (mentor the youth), because I do that every day through teaching. Not all of them will listen, but some will and these children are our future."
Wilborn said he has children come up to him every day who tell him: "Mr. Wilborn, I want to be just like you when I grow up."
The final point on Wilborn’s initial agenda was to continue to work with KCNB to beautify the city and increase it’s attractiveness to businesses and families.
Although Williams defeated Wilborn in 2005’s city council election, Wilborn said the only thing he will worry about is him.
"I’m focused on me and what I want to do," he said "There are no such words as ‘I can’t.’ I feel good, and I want to make a difference. When I leave this world, I want to leave a legacy of work behind."
Wilborn, 69, was born in Newborn and has lived in Newton County his entire life. He briefly attended high school as a teenager, but dropped out to work on the family farm. He then worked various other jobs, but finally went back to school and graduated from Southwest DeKalb High School at the age of 35. He went on to receive a nursing degree from DeKalb College, now called Georgia Perimeter College.