COVINGTON, Ga. - Covington City Councilman Josh McKelvey resigned from the Newton County Recreation Commission board effective Tuesday.
McKelvey, who has served on the NCRC board for more than two years, was appointed as the city of Covington’s representative on the board. In his resignation letter he said he wanted to be “a driver of positive change” on the board.
“From my discussions with other council members, county commissioners and friends, I also was aware the recreation commission had some perceived ‘issues,’” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I was excited to take part in helping to improve that perception and to make the programs offered by the NCRC better for the children of our county.”
The letter, which was addressed to Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes, stated McKelvey was losing faith in the chairman’s decision making.
“I rejected the ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ candidate put up by my own party and openly encouraged others to support you (Banes), the first Democrat I’ve ever voted for in my life, to be the next chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners,” he wrote. “I truly believed things would be different. Unfortunately, recent events have cast some doubt on those beliefs.”
The recent events, including the termination of NCRC Director Anthony Avery and the hearings following that decision, McKelvey felt his position on the NCRC board had become a distraction.
“I have simply grown tired of having to fight with the county to continue my role as a volunteer, while at the same time preparing to defend against a lawsuit, and meet my other commitments at work and home,” he wrote in the letter. “I am grateful to the city of Covington for allowing me the honor of serving them on the recreation commission and for their support throughout the last few months.”
McKelvey said he hopes NCRC will be able to improve its services and the dust settles in the county for a united community.
“Our ability to work together regardless of race and political affiliations depends on it, as does the hope of a future for our sons and daughters where racial and partisan politics will have little influence on the decisions they make,” he wrote.