These visionaries have tried to make Covington like, well, Hilton Head, S.C., or Seaside, Fla., and they don't even seem to realize that we don't have an ocean. The quality of life in Newton has already been, for the most part, destroyed beyond repair. People moved here because of what we had, not what we should be in the future. The flood gates were open so the select few who held most of the land would be able to benefit financially without any thought or consideration for others who were already living here, or just moving in to enjoy the quality of life that we all cherished.
The cost for so many of the improvements and expansions of services has been placed as a tax burden on the many so the few could have their development plans go forward and as if we had not already given them the farm. Today they continue to ask for more, more, more.
There were those of us who lobbied for the preservation of so many antiquities of extreme interest and historical value over the years, but no, the golden rule always seemed to prevail. He with the most gold rules.
Soon we will have a roundabout, which is another of those visionary projects. Every city in the world that has them is trying to figure out how to get rid of them. In Boston, they were simply town squares for the small cities like Porterdale, Oxford, Mansfield and the like and were used by horse drawn carts and carriages. Revere, the roundabout I am most familiar with in Boston, averages more than one wreck per day. With a couple of fire trucks, rescue vehicles, police cars, wreckers and the damaged vehicles in the intersection, you see delays lasting for hours. And what about all those school busses that will be using this new intersection? Can you say "late for school?"
We now have Margaret Stephenson's home place, right in the middle of town, looking like the worst eyesore you've ever seen and no one steps up to say "lets do something about saving that treasure?" No, we are too focused on buying a railroad we cannot afford for a walking trail we don't need and trying to make a budget work that is so burdened with bond debt, there is just no time for saving what we have.
I have personally appeared in court, at my own expense, to protest much of the bond debt we are now saddled with. I say, with any SPLOST, wait till the money comes in and then build the projects. With bond fees, interest, legal fees, we have wasted tens of millions of dollars that could have been put to good use for projects around the city and county.
Never agree to vote for another SPLOST unless it contains the clause "no bonds are to be issued against this SPLOST!"
If these so-called visionaries saw Covington and Newton County for what it is rather than what they want it to be, and built on our strengths, we would have been light years ahead of where we are today.
And, oh, these visionaries don't care where the money comes from as long as they get what they want. Newton County is, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the most indebted county per capita on bond debt of any county in the entire United States. Put that in your visionary pipe and smoke it.
In conclusion, I have been around quite long enough to see the short-termers come in, tell us what we need to be doing and then leave us with the mess to clean up.
Who are you going to trust? Those who have stuck it out for the long haul or those Romans who come bearing gifts along with their plagues and pestilence?