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Its not about ownership
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With regards to a potential decision by the Newton County Board of Commissioners to turn the downtown square over to the City of Covington, we are not talking about ownership.

Instead, the issue would deal with just the management and maintenance of the square, the "rare jewel" that it is, as the hub for the entire county and as a downtown venue whereby it would be used to the benefit of "all," yes "all," the citizens of Newton County.

As mayor, I want to see the square as the true focal point that it should be and can be and not destroyed or abused in anyway. Concerning the management and maintenance of the Town Square, yes, the City of Covington would bear the full expense associated with maintaining it.

However, for the record and for as long as most people can recall, the City of Covington has mowed the grass, cut the bushes, cleaned and cared for the square at no expense to the citizens of the unincorporated area of Newton County. Why would we do this, you might ask?

It is because it is our square, too, and we love it and appreciate it just as much as those persons on whose behalf Mr. Hay says he is writing.

Lastly, as mayor, I have said many times and I still maintain that in order to have a great Covington, we have to have a great Newton County, too. The reverse can also be said for Newton County. Therefore, as mayor of the City of Covington, I have no desire to take or cause to be taken any action that could or will harm any part of our great county or its various communities.

My heartfelt desire is to see and to help ensure that all areas within this county are respected, protected and used to the betterment of all of our citizens.

Ronnie Johnston

Mayor, City of