Dear Sirs: One hundred eight-eight years ago my family moved from Warren County to the newly formed Newton County, looking for a new life in this frontier community.
I don't know what trials and tribulations they endured, but they surely lived by the notion that, "Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success." (Unknown) I wonder what those hardy souls would think about today's Newton County? The recent article in The Covington News about our economic malaise would most likely be hard for them to understand. They came here because it was a place of opportunity, but evidently, Newton County is now seen as a place retailers, and possibly industry, avoid. The chamber of commerce reported in the June 12 article about the economy that, "Newton County was in the running for the Walking Dead headquarters, which would have brought 120 office jobs to Newton County."
Evidently we did not even qualify for the "Waking Dead." What happened in the years that separated the past from the present, and why are we not attracting those things and people that would stoke the engine of economic recovery?
We recently passed a SPLOST that began not with a list of needs, but with a list of wants.
Bridgestone overpaid their taxes and the city of Covington refunded them. Newton County chose to keep the overpayment, telegraphing to the Outside the message that if you set up shop here, you better be careful how you deal with county government.
Newton County government required employees during this fiscal year to take 15 furlough days, and this is unacceptable. I am embarrassed to think that the people who put out our fires, fight crime and perform other governmental functions must work for free.
These employees may not have the funds to get to one of our fine recreational facilities and they can't stay in the main library very long because of the high temperature settings required to balance the library budget.
Teamwork should be the watchword as we attempt to right our economic boat in these troubled waters. I don't know that raising taxes is a good idea, but if county government continues to whittle away at this budgetary 2-by-4, it may become a toothpick.