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Our thoughts: Citizens' panel
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During a Rotary Club of Covington meeting Tuesday, Newton County Chairman Keith Ellis announced that the commissioners are planning to start a citizens’ panel consisting of an appointed member by each commissioner and appointees from each city in the county and entities such as the chamber, water and sewage authority and school board.
We like this idea, and we hope that all the appointees accept this responsibility with an open mind and a determination to insure that the county has planning guidelines in place that are fair for the majority of the landowners of the county.
We have heard that at least one member of the Covington city council is broaching the idea that the city should have equal number of representatives to the county, because it has invested equal amounts of money in the planning consultants. However, we think that this type of thinking will impede the panel.

The county commission will be the governing body voting yeah or nay on the plan, so it makes sense their constituents voice their opinions.

This panel should be unbiased and its suggestions should if possible be acted upon in a professional, quick and fair manner.
In our opinion we are still a few years away from a rebirth of growth but we hope this panel working hand-in-hand with the plans that are established after 10 years of study by the 2050 group can be in place by the time this rebirth begins.