06 May 2018

The Sunday Edition - 6 May '18: NCSO refusing ORR for Body Cam footage; Low Rent Housing Coming to the COV? Odds & Ends

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| Covington, GA | Newton Co. |

The Sunday Edition: 6 May 2018

Welcome back to The Chronicles, Good People. We're so glad you could join us on this beautiful Sunday, and we sure hope everything is marvelous out there. And I just love those new boots of yours. I bet those are made for walking!


Another week in the book of the glory & dissonance that is the home city, county & surrounding areas.

So we see that Sheriff Brown of the NCSO (Newton County Sheriff's Office) is refusing to abide by The Covington News' ORR for the body-cam footage of the JC Henderson incident from a while back. This has caused quite the stir. The public reason is that the investigation is still ongoing. As some of you may remember the initial incident caused quite the stir as well when allegedly JC Henderson, BOC 4 Commissioner, though living in the municipal limits of Covington, purportedly called the Sheriff to have them come to his house after an apparent incident regarding one of his sons & an unnamed assailant. This was the same son, as we understand it, that some months ago may have, according to JC & the police report that was made public record, gotten a "hold of some bad crack" when he stole a van while allegedly intoxicated. 


Low Income Housing Coming to the COV? 

There's been a lot of chatter on the street about an impeding explosion of low rent housing coming to our fair city. For weeks now, many have been wringing their hands about a possibility of this at the Town Center project over on Alcovy Rd. There's a developer's schematic that shows upwards of 399 units though my sources tell me the city has not signed off on this & it's likely to be more like 200 units, and they will be more in the realm of "high dollar," however, apparently the zoning creation of this overlay was possibly mishandled & the city may be open to litigation. You've got to be real careful with real property in the government domain. It's one of the things that governmental entities can get sued over due to an "improper taking." 

That's why it's vital for proper & smart zoning ordinances to be enacted (if you're even going to have zoning - for years I've always said just get rid of zones, ordinances, etc. Of course, I'm the same guy that wants to do away with probably 80% of traffic laws & probably 50% of all laws...). And you need everybody on the same page - staff, planning commission & the city council. And that's not something we've always seen here in the home city, is it? But the key thing is being consistent. We'll touch on that in just a bit.

Personally, I think the Alcovy Village Town Center situation is going to be okay; however, the real problem may be a few miles away...

Word on the street, confirmed by multiple sources, is there is a major apartment complex looking to buy a good sized parcel from Freddie Neely to build behind his liquor store. Some may remember that Mr. Neely was the one who sold the large tract of land for the Mosque that will soon be located in western Newton County.

The big problem is this. Remember that consistency I mentioned? This corridor where Nitro 2 Go is located has already violated that consistency. Randy Vinson, years before, had helped craft a very forward-thinking set of ordinances for this commercial corridor going all the way up to I-20 at exit 93. As everything got developed by the interstate - the hotels, the wal-mart, and especially with the outparcels on either side of the road, and very much especially with Kaufman Tire - these ordinances, which did cause financial hardships, were adhered to. Consistency. Everything's good.

However, when it came time to build Nitro, all of that went out the window. As more than one person involved told me, and one in particular - "it's a miracle that we (city of Covington) didn't get sued."

So wouldn't it be something if that little act of inconsistency begins a chain of events that does adversely affect our beloved home city.

Government, lawyers & land deals. Ain't that America? And who usually suffers the most? The good, regular folks...



And another local story. From our good friend Samuel Hay: 


"First and foremost,1/ Lloyd Kerr, chief proponent for the 'delay'' knows about as much about 911 electronics and its operation as I know about Venus. 

2/ Then you take the legal position on the 2017 SPLOST which states very clearly "UPGRADE" to the existing system. No other than Harris who initially installed the system has the ability to do the upgrade. Motorola, who is the only other source that is being considered at this time would have to come in with a complete new installation. 

3/ How can that save the taxpayers money? There are only a limited amount of funds available to bring the system up to what is needed.

4/ We have recommendations from people we know who are experts in the field of what is needed that I believe are way more capable of making decisions of this nature than Kerr and Commissioner Nancy Schulz and the Chairman. Given the knowledge and expertise of Mike Smith, 911 Center Director, Chief Stacy Cotton along with the dedicated professionals such as the 6-3 vote of the 911 Board tells me everything I need to know. HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE "NEWS" ARTICLE...."BOC Chairman Marcello Banes polled the commissioners for their thoughts on the issue. District 1 Commissioner Stan Edwards and District 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan agreed with allowing the sole source proposal to go forward. District 2 Commissioner Lanier Sims and District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz agreed with Kerr to pursue an RFP for the project. With District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson absent, Banes casts the deciding vote, electing to take Kerr’s recommendation and support an RFP.

The county told The News there is no guaranteeing the RFP would save taxpayers the $100,000 or so it is costing." ARE WE REALLY WILLING TO PAY A "CONSULTANT" $100,000.00 TO TELL US WE ARE GOING TO SPEND MORE MONEY TO INSTALL A COMPLETELY NEW SYSTEM RATHER THAN UPGRADE THE CURRENT SYSTEM? I can tell you that and all it will cost the taxpayers is a cup of coffee. Instead of defining the FRP as its initial concept of an attempt to get bids to 'see' what the outcome will be, I would have to redefine it as "FANTASY ROLE PLAYING" by LLOYD KERR! I wouldnt agree with Kerr if he told me the sky was blue. 

Im going with people I trust after dealing with them in the past. Police Chiefs Stacey Cotton, Jason Cripps and David Harvey joined Piedmont Newton EMS Director Carli Cuendet, county fire Chief Michael Conner and Covington City Manager Leigh Anne Knight in voting to recommend the sole source procurement to the BOC. To be specific, my friends, Cotton, Cripps, and Smith, Edwards and Cowan." 

Odds & Ends 

- Justify overcomes the mud & a 136-yr curse to take The Kentucky Derby

- the statewide races are really heating up as we get closer to the May 22nd primary. A lot of moving parts. Over the next couple of weeks TPC will be rolling out multiple write-ups covering the following races: Democratic primary for Governor - the battle of the two Staceys: Democratic races for GA 4 & 10; and the Republican primaries for Governor, Lt. Governor & Secretary of State. We'll also be putting out a few editorial endorsements.

- next week will start up another local advertising campaign to be followed up by two more over the next few weeks. We're very excited.

Alright, gang, hope everyone has a great rest of their day & we'll be seeing you very soon. 

- MB McCart