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Correcting a blunder
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"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"

This quote from the 1976 movie "Network," best sums the frustration and utter disgust that the now awakening silent majority is feeling for politicians and appointed officials from the federal level to the local level in this country.

For years elected officials have taken their elections or appointments to mean that they had power and a bully pulpit to do anything they wanted to do. In short they have acted as if they were the Big Daddy of us all.

Regular folks are realizing that they and they alone hold the power in this country, not the minority of people who have assumed they have a divine right to leadership.

Here in Covington, the city council has felt the wrath of this great silent majority.

The city council voted in December to have their annual retreat held at the Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa located snuggly in the North Georgia Mountains. The committee that selected the site showed no regard to the pain and fear over the worsening economy that is gripping their constituents. They also voted to spend $5,000 to hire a firm to moderate this retreat in spite of the fact that there were qualified people available to facilitate free of charge.

When this story broke we immediately challenged the mayor and council on this decision; our challenge was met with indignation.

Instead of reviewing their decision and admitting that a mistake in judgment had been made - a mistake that could be corrected at no cost at that time - a few of the council members chose the "let's kill the messenger" approach to solving this issue. One council member actually threw a public tantrum in defending the council's unthinking action.

Thankfully the taxpayers of our community rose up, almost as one, and in no uncertain terms let council know what they thought about this costly decision.

Finally, council changed their vote this week and has decided to do the right thing and have their retreat held here locally.

By doing so the council will save some tax money (they are still spending the money for the facilitator) and they have shown, though begrudgingly, that they have listened to the will of the people who elected them.

This whole incident could have been avoided if the council had not taken so long to admit they had erred and sought to correct their actions. It would have been a welcome sign that our elected officials do not act like the ones currently representing us on the federal level.

We can only hope that this incident results in a lesson learned for other councils that the taxpayers of any community have the power to continue or change.

It's now time to put this to rest; we hope the council members use their upcoming retreat to make prudent decisions that will be beneficial for all of us.