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Newton commissioners select two finalists for county manager
Newton County Historic Courthouse
The Historic Courthouse in Covington where the Newton County Board of Commissioners meets. - photo by File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — The race for Newton County’s county manager position is down to two, with one name that should be somewhat familiar to those who follow the county government. 

Washington, D.C,. Deputy Mayor Lucinda Babers and current Henry County Human Resources Director Harold Cooper were named as the two finalists after the county Board of Commissioners met Monday afternoon in executive session. 

Babers and Cooper were confirmed after Commissioners Stan Edwards and Demond Mason motioned and seconded for the confirmation. It was voted in favor by way of a unanimous 4-0 vote. District 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan was absent. 

Babers was one of two finalists for the interim county manager position in February 2022 but her counterpart, Jarvis Sims, was selected to fill the one-year interim term. 

Sims’ interim contract position ended March 6.  He was recently hired as the new city manager of Greensboro in Greene County and his tenure will officially begin on May 1. 

In her cover letter accompanying her application for interim county manager last year, Babers said she oversaw more than 3,300 employees, $651 million in operating funds and $1.97 billion in capital funding in her role as deputy mayor. She also summarized various customer service initiatives, transportation management and budget management skills germane to her position in the nation’s capital. 

Cooper, originally from Miami, Florida, has been a resident of Conyers for the last 13 years. He has 22 years of experience in the public sector with 12 of those years serving in various HR roles in work environments that range from government to independent school districts, according to the Henry County Government website. 

By state law, the Board of Commissioners now must wait at least 14 calendar days before making a final decision on hiring one of the finalists, which means they must wait until at least April 10.