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BECK: Covington leaders keeping residents first
Covington Mayor Steve Horton at apartment groundbreaking
Covington Mayor Steve Horton speaks Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, during a ground breaking event for The Cove at Covington Town Center. (Taylor Beck | The Covington News)

The property home to Conyers Street Gym and Baker Field could have easily been sold.

But it wasn’t.

Construction crews could have been on site right now to begin building a 40-unit apartment complex and retail space, as proposed by The Revivalist Guild, on behalf of Covington Historic Places LLC — or, as we now know, the Covington Housing Authority.

But they aren’t.

The city of Covington could have done all of this without seeking any residents’ input and never batted an eye. Some city council members were in support of the recent proposal, and maybe still are. And in reality, the city could have sought “input” and still went about its own way.

But it didn’t. 

Instead, city leaders did seek input from residents and answered a boatload of questions about the proposed project. There was no rush to make a decision. And that input, as so many city officials promised, played a major factor in declining the project — despite the development’s potential to change the area for the better.

Why would the city do that?

Because, as I’ve learned over the past year living and working in Newton County, the city of Covington and its leaders genuinely care about the people — whether you’ve lived here all of your life or just moved in.

There aren’t many cities that operate in such a way by placing real value on residents’ opinions.

And I think that mentality starts at the top and trickles down. 

Each time I hear Mayor Steve Horton speak on different issues, he always vocalizes how important the role residents play in the city’s business decisions.

Simply stated, Covington leaders are putting its people first — believe it or not.

And I believe that whatever decision is made concerning Conyers Street Gym and Baker Field, they’re going to stand by that and make sure that decision is right for the people. In fact, Horton said city staff members are working to create a questionnaire for residents to provide input on future developments — specifically, sharing what types of developments they want versus what they don’t want anywhere near Covington.

As I stated last week, Covington residents have a lot to be proud of. And while every decision they make isn’t always agreed upon, I think the city’s current leaders can be added to the list.

Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at