Main Street Covington and Smart Growth Newton County are hosting a candidate forum for city candidates from all of Newton County's cities at 7 p.m., Oct. 18 at the Washington Street Community Center, 4138 School Street in Covington.
Each candidate will have three minutes to introduce themselves and describe their key strategies for promoting the economy, environment and quality of life in their respective cities.All candidates will be asked two questions from Smart Growth Newton County:
1. The 2050 Build Out Plan adopted by the Newton County Leadership Collaborative seeks to preserve greenspace and prevent sprawl by channeling growth to development nodes in existing and newly planned town centers. As a potential leader in one of those municipalities, what special challenges and opportunities do you feel the 2050 plan presents to cities? Specifically, what actions will you propose that will ensure the implementation of the 2050 Plan?"
2. After you become an elected official, how can we best contact you to ensure that you receive the message and so that we can receive a reply? E-Mail, phone calls, postcards or what?
"The Leadership Collaborative, comprised of a group of elected officials, utility companies, the Board of Education and several other key entities, has put forth a vision, the 2050 Buildout Plan. The plan, if followed, will allow Newton County to control future growth while at the same time preserving our County's rural nature. Smart Growth Newton County knows that the continued implementation of the 2050 Buildout Plan is critical to the future of Newton County," said Smart Growth President Jonathan Paschal.
"Every municipality in the county, as well as the Newton County Board of Commissioners has endorsed the plan. However, no city council or board of commissioners can obligate a future Board's actions. Smart Growth Newton County wants to insure that every candidate for office has studied the plan and will hopefully endorse it and use that endorsement as part of his or her campaign platform. The forum will allow each candidate to go on the record as to their position on the 2050 Buildout Plan."
In addition, the Covington candidates will be asked two questions by Main Street Covington:
1. What are your top three priorities for the downtown district?
2. What role can the city play in promoting the success of existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the downtown district?
"The Main Street Board would like to give the candidates for the upcoming municipal elections an opportunity to articulate their views on the importance of downtown development, economic promotion and historic preservation," said board Chairman Dan Walden. "Furthermore, we would like to hear about their visions and specific ideas about the downtown district as we move forward."