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Martin challenges Whatley for council
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Ronald Martin says he wants to bring another fiscally conservative voice to the Covington City Council and will challenge Mike Whatley for the Post 2 East council seat.

Martin, 67, said spending is out of hand in Covington, particularly given the economic state.

"We need to run a tight ship. We can’t just spend whatever we want," he said.

Martin applauded the city council’s recent approval of an ordinance that requires the city to have property appraisals done before it buys or sells land. He said he was concerned by the city previously authorizing lots in Walker’s Bend to be bought without an official appraisal.

He also said he’d like to see the council work together more. He has considered running for office in the past, but now that he’s retired he feels he has the time to devote to the position.

"I’m very easy to work with, but if I’m right, I won’t take no for an answer," Martin said. "I want to get things turned around."

Martin retired from Plymart Building Supply in June 2008, after 18 years with the company, including the last four as regional manager. He also served as a member on the company’s senior management team, a key decision making group that oversaw the company’s operation and budget.

"I’m concerned about people and have always been a person that likes to see things done right. I’m very persistent about things. If it’s not done right, I’ll stay there until it is," he said.

Before working at Plymart, he spent 12 years at Williams Brothers as a retail contractor, and also worked in private residential properties. He still owns several rental properties in the county.

Martin was born and raised in Newton County and attended Newton County High School. He did not graduate high school, but did take business classes through Plymart and Williams Brothers, he said.

He is a member of North Covington Methodist Church. He and his wife, Judy Mobley Martin, have one daughter, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Martin can be reached by phone at (770) 316-9950 or by email at

Whatley announced in June that he will seek a fourth term.