Dear Sirs: It was with much dismay that I read the editorial in Wednesday's Covington News attacking Mr. T. M. Ewing and your reference as "the pseudo leader of the county and his gang." Such a slam is totally unjustified. Obviously, your writer does not know Mr. Ewing.
You can search until your heart is content, and you'll never find a person with more impeccable integrity, ethics, morals and character. Part of a gang? No. Leader? Yes. He is a proven and successful leader beginning in his high school days here in Newton County and throughout his career and service to business and agriculture at the local, state and national level. (Please note that space here would not permit the long list of achievements, recognitions and honors.)
There is no county official who does his homework and prepares for his duties better or more intensely than Mr. Ewing. As a successful businessman and taxpayer, he readily recognizes that the rail purchase is not in the best interest of the citizens of the county. Mr. Henderson and Mr. Fleming likewise saw the impracticality of such a purchase during these desperate economic times. The county's needs (not wants) should be addressed first. And importantly, it was a bipartisan vote, both Democrats and Republicans said no.
The "gang" as you reference, hear their constituents and recognize their needs, and it is not a rail to trails for the benefit of a few. The proponents want to continue to spend millions with the purchase of the Norfolk Southern ROW for rails to trails. Will it pay its way directly or indirectly? No, not even close. The rails to trails would be a bottomless financial pit for Newton County taxpayers. Is it needed for ROW to transfer water from the proposed Bear Creek Reservoir to Covington? No. Existing row ROW is closer and less costly.
You editorial stated that the county voted down the purchase of the railroad property "without much of a good reason." They had every good reason to vote it down - it makes no economic sense and, most importantly, the vast majority of their constituents don't want it.
Thank God we have people like Mr. Ewing who will take a stand and vote representing his constituents and the best interest of the county, fiscal and otherwise.