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Our Thoughts: Forum points to importance of election, for all
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This election season is a vital one — not only for our country, but for our county.

Newton County decision-makers are wrestling with what to do with our finances as we recover from a recession that started almost a decade ago; attempting to manage our solid waste amid Environmental Protection District (EPD) violations, improperly-lined cells, and tons of trash; and dealing with a pending lawsuit that began around 20 years ago.

While those topics appear regularly on board of commissioners agendas every first and third Tuesday of the month, other topics also require deep thoughts and sometimes compromise to get results, such as the direction of growth in Newton County, the public safety of a growing population and the educational needs of future students.

In those cases, time will tell if they were the right decisions, just as we’re still dealing with decisions made about the Bear Creek Supply Reservoir 20 years after the decisions were first made.

So it is important that we elect leaders who not a vision for Newton County now, but who have the leadership ability to take actions that best serve the residents of tomorrow.

That’s one reason today’s candidate forum, which will begin at 2 p.m. at the Newton County Historic Courthouse, is such an intriguing and exciting event. In preparing for today’s forum, we have looked deeply at the problems that face our county, not only today but in the future. To look at the future responsibly, we felt it necessary to involve those who will be an integral part of that future.

Though hosted by this newspaper, the forum will be moderated by local Georgia State University students while Newton County School System high school students will pose questions to the candidates, questions developed by their contemporaries about just where candidates see the county headed.

Our young people are more informed than ever and, if given the chance, can use that information to be more insightful and involved citizens.

We spoke with them about what they saw as the most pressing issues they see in our community. We sat with them as they reviewed questions submitted by peers and others. We worked with them as they compiled questions designed to give us a sense of who our candidates are, how well they know the issues that face Newton County today, if they possess the leadership qualities to lead us into the future, and, in short, if they are the right person for the job.

In our dealings with the student governments of Georgia State University’s Newton Perimeter campus, as well as some of the fine students at Alcovy, Eastside and Newton high schools, we have learned that not every young person lives their life strictly through what they see on the internet, video games, and movies.

We at the Covington News feel strongly that if Newton County is to thrive, it needs to do so built on the strength of community. Our community needs to involve everyone who calls this county home.

We are delighted and excited to see what the members of our community can bring to the table, as not only commissioners, judges and chair persons, but also as moderators and thinkers.

We are also delighted to shine light on what we have come to know, that our future is here, now.