21 November 2017

[TPC] - Tuesday Check-in: Talkin' C-town East Ward, JDA, et al

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

(North Covington * 21 November '17) - Greetings, fearless readers, and we sure hope all is well out there. Thanksgiving is just two days away (how can it possibly be late November?) and we're about to start that busy and wonderful five weeks of the Holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, New Year's & all the rest.

So glad you could join us this evening. I like those boots...are those new?

In the words of The Senator, on to the bullet points!

  • So it's been two weeks since the Covington municipal election where we saw another Henderson get into elected office in Newton Co., in the West ward of the home city, and saw what can really only be described as an ass kickin' in the East ward. 
    • Susie Keck seems to be a marvelous woman and it was truly a pleasure to be able to support her and to give her my vote. She was a great candidate, ran a great race, and it's looking like she is going to be a great councilwoman (and naturally we'll be keeping an eye on her & helping to make sure she's doing the right things and doing things right). And kudos to our ole pal, AB. Great work, friend! 
    • Chris Smith. If not for the letter he penned to The Covington News, I was going to just let things slide. I wasn't going to mention the numerous times in the past several months that I did write-ups criticizing him and even calling for his resignation. I wasn't going to talk about how so many folks in and around Covington had just had enough and worked very hard to effect real and positive change here in the home city. I wasn't going to discuss how in a municipal race a 62/38 split might as well be on par with the infamous CC75/DF25 we saw a while back in a BOE race. No, I was just going to let it go. I think I'll just link to this Letter to the Editor that appeared in the past Sunday edition of The Covington News. I thank Chris for his service to the city, but he has no one to blame but himself...
  • The Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton & Walton. Stanton Springs. Baxter. Baxalta. Shire. 
    • For some info for those of you who might not have a backstory on this thing, a good place to start might be with some of fellow Citizen-Journalist MP Pat's pieces over at Tax Dogs/Taxpayer's Watchdog Group. Now there are those out there who think that some of these pieces have been inaccurate, misleading or unfair. Well, I've gotten to know this lady pretty good, and she seems to always have her I's dotted & T's crossed. Her ducks seem to always be in a row, if you will, and honestly - I'm a pretty big fan. However, some of these folks seem to think that there's a lot of innuendo, gossip, hearsay & a bit of conspiracy theory going on as it relates to this long, complicated thing that is Stanton Springs and the JDA (Joint Development Authority) story. Maybe, but as I've mentioned in this publication more than once, it does seem to me that perhaps some things haven't really passed the smell test. Or, at a minimum, that major mistakes and crucial errors have been made. To that point: 
    • The Piedmont Chronicles has been researching and studying on this thing for well over two years now. I have a file that is maybe not quite literally an inch thick (but's it damn sure close), and I have now started the next phase of my investigation. 
    • I have been reaching out to former and current JDA Board members, elected officials, and others in the attempt to get the "full story." Really what I'm wanting to do is construct an in-depth and comprehensive history of this whole thing going all the way back to the late 90s and early 2000s with an emphasis on the "Who, What, Where & When?" So...it's going to be a process. And just like I've done in the past with the report on the Bear Creek Mitigation property, or the breaking story on a certain former county political party chairman and appointed official allegedly guilty of plagiarism - I am going to be doing this strictly by the book and with "just the facts." With that said, I may very well offer occasional commentaries, but they will be labeled as such.  
    • I have spoken with Andrea Gray, legal counsel for the JDA, and will most likely be talking to her again. Maybe a few times. So far, she's been helpful and has answered my questions. 

Speaking of files, The Hospital Authority one is getting thicker and thicker... 

As always, thanks for reading. We'll be in touch soon.