I would like to respond to a letter in the July 24 edition of The Covington News in which 14 families came to the defense of Councilman Keith Dalton concerning his ethical problems. The letter was short on substance and long on rambling, rhetoric and back slapping along with a grandiose description of their neighborhood while belittling their neighbors in the Covington Place subdivision.
I wholeheartedly agree with The Covington News’ printing the stories pertaining to law violations on the part of Mr. Dalton. These 14 families seem to think that generosity and popularity can be used as a means to sugarcoat illegal or unethical behavior.
I am familiar with their neighborhood. This area since its inception has been privy to city perks that were lacking in the neighborhoods west of the city.
When houses were built in this area, they were provided with sewer lines in a hilly terrain. I believe the city has pump stations in the area that are checked daily. Yet during a long period of time children in the Westview and Lakeview drive areas were playing in raw sewerage running down drainage ditches in front of their homes. Residents of those areas were told that city sewerage could not be provided for them because the area was hilly. Residents were ticketed because their septic tanks were insufficient and no property was available to extend drain fields. I believe the city put in sewerage only after the state threatened to condemn the area.
For years this neighborhood received almost daily trash and garbage pick-up while trash and garbage piled up in the west ward. Mayor Alene Burton put a stop to this practice, and she put the city trucks on a strict schedule.
The streets in this neighborhood were routinely paved over to the extent that the pavement was several inches above the concrete curbing. During this time streets in the west ward were neglected.
It was so bad that at one point I filed a complaint with the State Highway Department. Asphalt was being piled on Crestview while going by dirt streets (Lewis and Glover). It is amazing how fast the city paved these streets after my complaint.
I wonder how many street sweepers the city has worn out in the area when most of the people in the west ward don’t even know what a street sweeper is.
In the past, some especially privileged people in this neighborhood have had city employees come into their yards and houses and do repairs and other services. I have taken pictures of these trucks and attached them to complaints sent to the city.
Mass planting of trees along the streets in this area have occurred, while this does not happen in the west ward.
I have in the past (and still do) refer to this area as Perkville, and in the last few years I have had many conversations with my fine Council Member Ocie Franklin regarding the unequal distribution of city services.
In my opinion, these 14 families seem to be glorifying and defending Mr. Dalton as he is their pipeline to City Hall from which all blessings seem to flow in their direction.
Harry L. Long