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Letter: A call for unity
Marcello Banes
Marcello Banes

To our Community,

As Chairman of Newton County, I have both the task and desire to ensure the success of our community. Absolutely vital to ensuring that success is us being a unified community. I would be negligent in my duties as Chairman of Newton County if I did not publicly address concerns that oppose the mission of a successful and unified community. This statement is uncomfortable to write but is necessary in keeping our community on track to be the best it can be.

Presently, there are several issues in our community designed to split, divide and destroy the efforts of so many of us who have endured to build a better Newton County. Throughout the first five months of this year, we have experienced sadness with five murders and an influx of teen suicides. There have been divisive and controversial issues such as the monument on the historic Covington Square and a lawsuit concerning racial discrimination with the Recreation Commission. Recently, the occurrence involving a City of Covington Police Officer and an African American female has put Newton County, once again, in the news. In the last five days, I have received numerous calls, text messages and emails from citizens and officials wanting to know my position or stance on the issues.

My response is, simply, I stand for Newton County – a unified Newton County. As citizens, we must pull together and unify our community.

As the Chairman of Newton County, as a minister, as a father, as a husband and as a devoted and committed member of this County I love, I am asking for you to join me and pray for our community. In the privacy of my home, I will be praying for our community each morning at 5:30 a.m. I am asking that pastors, teachers, community leaders or anyone who knows the power of prayer to join me. We must stand together and pray against the things that are meant to divide and stop the growth of our community. We must stand together and pray for guidance to address these issues in a manner that will result in productive and positive change. I understand that with diversity there will always be opposing sides and disagreement. However, everyone can agree on wanting our families to thrive in a safe community, to be able to financially support our families and most importantly to be a part of a community that respects one another. I’m reminded of an old parable… “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.

I ask everyone in Newton County to pray, reflect and concentrate your positive thoughts with me.

Marcello Banes 

Chairman, Newton County Board of Commissioners