The square downtown belongs to all the people of Newton County, Georgia. Even the thought of turning it over the City of Covington angers and aggravates a majority of the citizens in the county. This is not a plan which needs to go forward.
I would suspect such an action by the county commissioners and/or the commission chairman would be enough of an insult to move the citizens of Newton County to put all the sitting elected officials out on the street come election time. Budgeting for care is probably less than .003 of the total budget, and just look at all the money we are throwing away elsewhere.
Messing with the historic square is like messing with someone’s religion. Its use as a concert venue has stirred thousands to cringe because of compacting the soil and possibly causing our beautiful magnolia trees to suffer and eventually die.
There are many other locations where concerts could be performed without killing our ancient and much-adored magnolias.
Turning control over to the City of Covington leaves an opening to have our square "reinvented" by a bunch of elected and hired gun carpetbaggers. Seems the new mayor also has put his fingerprints on what he "wants" our square to be. Mr. Mayor, it is not for you personally to pick and choose according to your own whims.
We all know that Randy Vinson wants to reinvent the entire city and county "in his own image," but the treasure we have maintained over the centuries has its worth and value and attraction in being what it is, not what someone else wants it to be. An original is original only once. You can rearrange all the parts a million times, but, again, it was original only once, and when that is gone and old structures and historic places are destroyed, you simply become one of a thousand "other" places, all alike and with no special distinction or character.
I say, and on behalf of the citizens of Newton County, and especially all of those who have called me and emailed me about this travesty, "You can’t touch this!"
Samuel M. Hay, III