Dear Editor: On Sunday, Jan. 25 The Covington News ran an editorial accompanied by an artist’s rendering of the late trio, The Three Stooges. The editorial took issue with the way three commissioners cast their vote regarding a hiring and spending freeze. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the newspaper staff of a few points.1. To allow interested parties to attend our meetings, the schedule is made public and sent to both The Covington News and the Newton Citizen five days ahead of time. The fact that our meetings fall on the same night as other organizations is beyond our control. Given this information, The Covington News chose to attend the Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner held on the same night as the commission meeting. This was an internal decision The Covington News made, but it was not reflected in their editorial.
2. The editorial also took issue with the vote itself, accusing the three commissioners of lack of research, poor planning and ulterior motives. Last year the Board of Commissioners was given a dire forecast from Chief Appraiser Tommy Knight, Tax Assessors Office, that we could very well be looking at a large drop in property revenue due to the circumstance of the economy, and to brace ourselves and adjust accordingly. A hiring and spending freeze was talked about informally, but was clearly suggested for the upcoming board meeting.
I am deeply saddened that the editorial board chose to portray us as a comedy trio and to question our integrity, motivation and intentions. We are not the Three Stooges. We are independently elected, dedicated pubic servants who take our fiscal responsibilities seriously.
In closing, I ask these questions…Isn’t it better to seek dialogue and understanding than to instigate fear and distrust? Isn’t it better to foster hope and mutual respect than to question someone’s’ motives or ambitions? Let’s think about this….
Commissioner Earnest Simmons, District 2
Board of Commissioners