Covington City Councilman Chris Smith read a letter during the council comment section of Monday night's meeting against the actions of Mayor Ronnie Johnston.
Johnston penned a letter that was published in Sunday's edition of The Covington News laying out plans for a proposed development project that he hopes to help bring to Covington. Monday night, Smith said the Johnston was trying to gain public favor by publishing the letter, and that the project would cost too much for the city and use up Covington's last industrial site.
Johnston submitted a letter to The News in reply. Here it is:
When I decided to pen a letter to the citizens of Covington concerning a possible future development, I did so with one intention: to gain input and gauge interest from our residents on the potential project.
In respect to the rules that govern the executive session of council meetings, I don't feel I released any information that betrayed the trust of the council. Any time you are dealing with a development of this magnitude, I think there is a fine line between respecting the privacy of council proceedings and being transparent with our community.
There are plenty of details pending that will be released when appropriate, but the fact remains there is a lot of interest in this project. But let me make this clear, I would never support a project that would not be healthy for our community or cost us millions of dollars without appropriate return on our investment.
It is our job as appointed and elected officials to work together to advance our community and provide them opportunities to be successful.