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Hay: Land use plan from hell
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What is on my mind and the minds of many other Newton County citizens is the plot by a small group of people to pull off a new zoning plan to severely restrict what you can and can’t do with your own property.

Now that this group’s secret plans are out of the bag, they are trying desperately to get your commissioners to ‘vote’ a positive acceptance to their plan. A group of land owners have banded together to stop this nightmarish plot to allow some ‘preferred’ landowners to be able to do whatever they want while restricting all the rest!

What if I told you that a majority of landowners would only be able to build a house on 20 acres of land? And others would be able to build as many as they want on one acre of land. These plans go by the sporty names of Charette, Overlay and 20-50 Plan and seem to have been initially begun as a way to have a payroll for a few people who didn’t seem to have much of a future anywhere else. The leader of this den of wolves is the one and only Randy Vinson, thought by some to be God’s answer for everything and by others as the worst thing that ever happened to Newton County. It does seem odd the way he continues to get projects to work on, funded by tax dollars, and these projects continue to be disastrous.

Let’s just take one example: The new court annex building. Mr. Vinson was in total control of this project. The budget was blown but more significant, it seems he didn’t know about the Georgia fire regulations. Except for the fact that we had a U. S. Supreme Court Justice coming down to address the crowd at the grand opening, we would have never been able to even use the building. There were so many mistakes made during the construction that strings got pulled to even be able to open the building for the dedication. And the Johnsons were hired full time to work on a brand new building to fix all the mistakes that it took them years to get it all sorted out! This was a Randy Vinson project. He continues to get funds to proceed with new projects such as this zoning fiasco. They have only been working on this project now for about 10 years. Funded by Newton County, The City of Covingtion, and The Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority to the tune of $70,000 each, they have found a money train for their little group. And when this project is done, win, lose or draw, you can be assured they will come up with another lame-brained, unnecessary project to be able to get more of your money to make their payroll.

Why on earth would we pay rent to “The Center” when we have large vacant spaces in the new administration building? When you connect all the dots on this entire episode you come up with a one word description of what they are doing and what is happening to your tax dollars: HOGWASH!

And your Newton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Covington are allowing this to happen! Here are the County Commission members that you should speak to about this travesty: Chairman Keith Ellis, Nancy Schultz, John Douglas, J.C. Henderson, Lanier Sims, Levie Maddox. I don’t know what is wrong with these people unless they totally do not understand the gravity of the situation. If this is the case, they need to get a grip!

Sam Hay III