A crowd gathered in the Covington City Hall meeting room Thursday to celebrate Janet Goodman’s 36 years as a councilwoman with a slight surprise. Music played as the dozens going in and out of the room thanked the former teacher for her service, enjoying snacks, strawberry punch and chocolate covered strawberries.
The friends and fellowship was enough to keep Goodman happy.
However, there was something else planned as members of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) walked into the room.
When the small group arrived, Covington City Manager Leigh Anne Knight called the room to attention and thanked Goodman for her service.
Lamar Norton, the Executive Director of the GMA, then walked up to Goodman, and after a big hug presented her with the Lifetime Service award.
“Janet was a pioneer in politics; someone with the discipline and determination to put her name on the ballot,” Norton said.
During her time on the Covington City Council Goodman helped earn recognition and accreditation for the city’s police department, fire department, emergency 911 Center and public works division. Goodman, recognized as the longest serving African-American woman in Georgia politics, was also a founding, elected member of the Newton County Leadership Collaborative.
“Janet has demonstrated her love for her town through her many years of generous service to its citizens,” Norton said. “Covington is fortunate to have that kind of dedicated leadership, and Georgia cities are also grateful to have seen the example she set for all city leaders.”
Goodman, who ended her time on the council in December, struggled to find the words to express her gratitude, and couldn’t fight back the tears of appreciation.
“People may speak kind words of me every once in a while, but may the life I live speak for me,” Goodman said.