Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Preser­va­tion hon­ored by re­gional civic league

Group rec­og­nized for lo­cal projects

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

The Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Preser­va­tion and Plan­ning was re­cently hon­ored with The Re­gional Ex­cel­lence Award by The Civic League for Re­gional At­lanta for its work in New­ton County.

“It was an honor to be iden­ti­fied this first round,” said Hosanna Fletcher with The Cen­ter who trav­eled to At­lanta last Tues­day to ac­cept the award on the non­profit’s be­half. “We’re in the At­lanta re­gion but we’re on the ex­urb re­gions of the At­lanta re­gion. For them to take no­tice of us all the way out here, it’s just amaz­ing.”

Started in 2002 with a grant from The Arnold Fund, the Cen­ter has made a name for it­self as a neu­tral meet­ing space where par­ties and in­di­vid­u­als from all over the county can come to dis­cuss and de­bate var­i­ous joint ven­tures.

Among the projects The Cen­ter has helped to fa­cil­i­tate are the U.S. High­way 278 Liv­able Cen­ters Ini­tia­tive, up­dates of Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County’s Com­pre­hen­sive Plans, the fu­ture his­tory cen­ter at the old jail, New­ton County’s Com­pre­hen­sive Trans­porta­tion Plan and the UGA de­sign stu­dio char­rettes.

But the Cen­ter is pri­mar­ily known for its work with the Lead­er­ship Col­lab­o­ra­tive. The Lead­er­ship Col­lab­o­ra­tive in­cludes more than 50 New­ton County lead­ers, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers, the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, the New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Author­ity and city coun­cil mem­bers from the county’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive was formed with the in­ten­tion of cross­ing tra­di­tional ju­ris­dic­tional and de­part­men­tal lines while work­ing to­wards the goal of commu- nity sus­tain­abil­ity. One re­sult of the col­lab­o­ra­tive was the re­cent move by all four of the county’s ma­jor bod­ies — the BOC, BOE, NCWSA and the city of Cov­ing­ton to align their yearly bud­gets to a fis­cal year sched­ule to al­low greater ef­fi­ciency when work­ing to­gether.

Fletcher said she was touched that Cov­ing­ton Mayor Kim Carter, Cov­ing­ton Coun­cil­woman Hawnethia Wil­liams, Cov­ing­ton Plan­ning and Zon­ing Di­rec­tor Shelley Stiebling and Dis­trict 5 Com­mis­sioner Monty Laster all trav­eled to At­lanta on Tues­day to sup­port The Cen­ter in its ac­cep- tance of the award.

“The cen­ter doesn’t ex­ist on its own. We ex­ist only be­cause we’re rel­e­vant to the peo­ple that we work with,” Fletcher said. “The fact that they came out on a cold Tues­day night into At­lanta… it just means so much that they are sup­port­ing the Cen­ter on an on­go­ing ba­sis.”

The Cen­ter was one of four non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions to re­ceive the award this year. This was the first year the award was given. Other re­cip­i­ents of the award in­clude, Af­ter-School All-Stars of At­lanta, the Cum­ber­land Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Dis- trict and Cobb Parks Coali­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, The Re­gional Ex­cel­lence Award was cre­ated to rec­og­nize in­di­vid­u­als, or­ga­ni­za­tions and ini­tia­tives that demon­strate a high-level of com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing a bet­ter At­lanta re­gion.

The Civic League for Re­gional At­lanta is a non-par­ti­san, 501(c)3 or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to ad­dress is­sues of re­gional sig­nif­i­cance through the build­ing of con­sen­sus.

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