As Covington Mayor Kim Carter makes her rounds this month, the people she's worked with for the past four years are saying goodbye and wishing her luck in the future.
Close friends and members from the Covington City Council offered their heartfelt farewells Tuesday.
"Managing and leading go hand in hand, yet there is a major difference in the two. Managing is often far less tiring and easier than leading. You have as mayor had to do both, but I want to make sure you know I recognize your ability to have led this council with grace, style, professionalism, business acumen and pragmatism,” said Juanita Thompson, who was a member of the city’s Covington Redevelopment Authority.
“I am most appreciative of your efforts to make Covington a better place in spite of the opposition you often faced. Your can-do attitude, cheerful smile, open mindedness, community involvement and welcoming demeanor to those you encountered, demonstrated your desire and commitment to give more than 100 percent to the position. Simply, thank you for a job well done.”
Thompson’s comments were followed by a standing ovation from members of the audience and council.
At the end of the meeting, City Manager Steve Horton and the council members expressed their feelings for Carter.
“You’ve done very tireless dedicated work on behalf of the city, employees and everyone who visited you,” Horton said. “Your impact will be felt for years and you will be missed.”
“It’s been a real pleasure, and I hope to see you again somewhere. I know you’re not going to be sitting still; that’s not like you,” Councilman Mike Whatley said. “Keep up the faith and keep riding forward and God’s got a plan for you.”
“I wish that plan had been for you to stay,” said Councilwoman Janet Goodman. “I have enjoyed working with you immensely. You have brought the city of Covington to another level not only in Covington but the state of Georgia when we attend other meetings. You’ve been very professional. What you said you did you tried to do it. I appreciate that and am happy to call you my friend.”
“Ditto. I also want to say that as a result of your determination and your steadfastness and conviction for housing, we now have the Harristown Park over there, as well as we now will have Walker’s Bend,” Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams said.
“I’m looking forward to the new year and new mayor and good luck mayor,” said Councilman Chris Smith.
“You stood in our shoes and I applaud you for that. Color had no barrier for you,” said Councilwoman Ocie Franklin. “You were an all-city mayor and I can appreciate that.”
“I quite don’t know what to say. That’s very humbling. I do appreciate and I love you all too. It’s like a family, we all work so closely together,” Carter said. “I tried my best and I’m glad and proud of my service to the city…I have a large spirit of volunteerism and I hope to go back to doing more volunteer work for the betterment of our community.”
Members of the Newton County Industrial Development Authority also bid Carter farewell Thursday, with Chairman Danny Stone thanking her for her service.
During Carter’s single term as mayor, improving housing, promoting technology and making government more accessible were among her top priorities. She decided not to seek reelection because of the active opposition faced by a divided council. Carter had endorsed incoming-Mayor Ronnie Johnston, who will take over Jan. 1.
Sunday sales begin in Covington
Alcohol will be able to be purchased in Covington this Sunday, after the council approved the second reading of the ordinance Tuesday. Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams was the lone vote in opposition.
Covington voters approved Sunday sales in November with 65 percent support (868 yes votes), but the council had to approve officially an ordinance change. Alcohol will be able to be sold in retail stores on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
While grocery and convenience stores will naturally be open, many liquor stores were undecided on whether they would open on Sunday.