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County manager
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To tell you the truth, we were taken aback by the sudden appointment of a successor to County Manager John Middleton, who recently announced that he intends to step down at the end of the year.

We have no problem with the appointment of Tom Garrett as assistant county manager and heir to Middleton’s job. We believe Garrett has done a good job in his role as transportation director for the county, and it generally is a positive when you can promote from within.

What we are puzzled about is the need to appoint someone in this position right now.

Some county commissioners told our reporter that they asked county residents and community leaders to give their thoughts on this appointment and that those folks gave them the green light.

We find that hard to accept because generally, when this type of discussion is going on, it reaches our desks.

We thought that a choice for new county manager would be fully, publicly vetted and not just popped out on an unsuspecting electorate.

The commissioners owe Newton County’s citizens more of an explanation than they have offered thus far as to why they felt this appointment was so crucial that it had to be done right now, without any input from the public.