05 May 2015

Tuesday's Gone With the Wind: Checking the Pulse of C-Town

The Piedmont Chronicles 

~ est. 2010 ~

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

This past weekend saw a plethora of letters to the editor sent to Newton County's legal organ, The Covington News. This, in light of the shenanigans deployed last week when Chairman Ellis and Commissioners Douglas and Maddox announced their "solution" to capping some of the highest legal fees in the state of Georgia (and guess what - even with the cap, we'd be way higher than any other county remotely close to us in size and population).

There was certainly a theme to most of these letters and that theme was basically this: our governance structure is bad, our county attorney situation is bad, our lack of transparency within the county is bad, our leadership within the county government is bad ( or nonexistent), etc. etc. And it all just wasn't pointing out the negatives, several good and constructive ideas were thrown in as well.

Several folks wrote in including Phil Johnson, Maurice Carter, and Wesley Dowdy. As I understand it - Steve Brown also wrote a nice one that just made it to the online version. Speaking of Mr. Dowdy, here's the last two paragraphs of his letter that he sent out to the News and a few other folks:

"We are thankful that there will be at least an $800K limit to the out-of-control legal spending of Newton County, but make no mistake the County was no winner in this agreement with Mr. Craig. When compared with the legal budgets of similar sized counties, that range of fees is still exorbitant. More problematic than the costs incurred for legal services is how Mr. Craig’s continued representation impacts the reputation and integrity of Newton County.

Three commissioners may feel that this plan can calm the boiling water of public dissatisfaction over Mr. Craig, but they have again misjudged the people of Newton County. This public relations ploy was prematurely announced to the press prior to being vetted by all of the Commissioners and can only be seen as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues. We must ask is this an attempt by Mr. Craig to shift the focus from the real issues facing Newton County? And is he being aided in his actions by three commissioners willing to be pawns in this continuing power play?" 

Well said, Mr. Dowdy. Well said...

When speaking with one of the leading activists/agents-of-change (and a marvelous woman that I now consider a good friend) of Newton County Sunday morning, we came to the same conclusion: it is very exciting and optimistic to have so many articulate voices for change and doing right in our community. And to use an analogy I got from another friend, these were my thoughts afterwards:
"It's a show of weakness. A chink in the armor. And to use an analogy of another friend of mine - it's another pretty good size leak in that dam that just continues to get less and less viable. I really think the "dam" thing is about to burst!"