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Letter: Dalton a good neighbor
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At least half of the residents in the Flat Rock Trail area of Covington have lived here for over 40 years. Those who have been here for awhile are happy to see younger families moving to the area.

It’s a great place — very convenient to the Covington square and U.S. Highway 278. We don’t have mega-mansions on this street, but we do have nice, large lots, trees and birds. In fact, we are an official Bird Sanctuary; thanks to the efforts of Jinx Faulkner.

We cannot reach out of our bedroom window and hold the hand of the neighbor next door, and we like it that way. Most everyone minds his own business, but when there is sickness, death or an emergency, we stand ready to help. Just such an emergency occurred on July 14, when Gabriel Khouli’s front-page article in The Covington News ambushed our neighbor, Keith Dalton.

To many of us, it feels as though our whole neighborhood has been attacked.

Let me make it clear: We all agree that every business should have a valid business license with the city or wherever one is required.

However, we question the reason for this in-depth search of business licenses based on supposedly anonymous complaints from neighbors. We wonder if these complaints were made to The Covington News reporter, or were they made to the city? If they were made to the city, then how did the paper become involved? Was it another anonymous tip?

For those of you who don’t know Keith Dalton, let us give you some facts about this extraordinary, hard-working man. Yes, his collar is blue; no suit and tie required in his line of work. No silver platter has ever been handed to him.

Through very hard work, he has built, from the bottom up, a very successful business. He is a man of integrity, and a family man.

He is not arrogant or pretentious. He cares deeply about this city, its people and his neighbors.

His property is well-maintained.

His business trucks come and go quietly up the street to Martin Street.

There are trucks parked in his yard, but also in many other yards in our neighborhood. You will see from the list below that these neighbors have no compliant with Keith or his business.

In fact, 98 percent of us are pleased to have him as our neighbor. He is there for us and will always help us out if needed.

And about the anonymous neighbor who said Keith brags that he has 30 to 40 employees, we certainly hope this is true. He is creating jobs. With the unemployment rate in Newton County, we should applaud and encourage small business rather than criticize.

We all agree that Keith has served, and will continue to serve, all of us well as our representative on the city council. He is accessible and always listens to our concerns about city matters.

There is another thing about Keith Dalton that he probably would not tell you himself. Not many people know how much he gives back to our community — the many charitable organizations he supports with his time, food, or money, the neighbors he helps when there is sickness by cutting their grass or bringing meals.

Do you know the week before Thanksgiving and Christmas every year he spends two days cooking hams and turkeys to take to the less fortunate in our community who may not have the money to buy this meat for their families?

He pays for it out of his own pocket, because he cares.

We would appreciate The News and your anonymous friends backing off. Please let’s see some positive articles that would encourage business and growth in our community.

This letter is from Flat Rock Trail neighbors of Keith Dalton and also neighbors who back up to Keith’s property on Hill Top Drive and Farmington Lane. Some neighbors could not be reached or were out of town at this writing.

The O’Kelleys, Roths, Dollars, Dodds, Hodges, McGowans, Adams, Pounds, Britts, Shepherds, Alexanders, Briscoes, Hayes and Harwells