Our thoughts...

The Covington News - - Opinion -

New gym

On Wed­nes­day, proud grad­u­ates of R.L. Cousins High School and com­mu­nity lead­ers and res­i­dents gath­ered in North Cov­ing­ton for the open­ing of the newly re­molded Wolverine Gym at the Cousins Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

The school dis­banded in 1970. When Newton County schools were in­te­grated the next year, black and white stu­dents at­tended what is now Newton High. The old Cousins gym, once the site of many com­mu­nity af­fairs, grad­u­a­tions and cham­pi­onship bas­ket­ball games, de­te­ri­o­rated into ma­jor dis­ar­ray. But thanks to the per­sis­tent ef­forts of County Com­mis­sioner J.C. Hen­der­son, for­mer state sen­a­tor Denny Dobbs, the county com­mis­sion and the county recre­ation com­mis­sion, the re­mod­el­ing of the gym has be­come a re­al­ity, pro­vid­ing a top-notch recre­ational out­let for the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially its chil­dren.

Un­der the guid­ance of Recre­ation Di­rec­tor Tommy Hai­ley and his staff, the gym was re­fur­bished and has al­ready started to be used by the chil­dren.

We are al­ways im­pressed by the first class recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties that we have in Newton County. The Wolverine Gym is just an­other jewel in that crown of class.

For­est Sawyer, a com­mu­nity ac­tivist and a grad­u­ate of Cousins, summed up the evening’s com­ments at the re­open­ing cer­e­mony by say­ing he was proud to live in a com­mu­nity that takes such pride in its her­itage.

We couldn’t help no­tice the smile on Sher­iff Ezell Brown’s face through­out the cer­e­monies. We can only imag­ine that he was think­ing that with re­open­ing of the Wolverine Gym; thou­sands of our chil­dren will have a safe, su­per­vised place to hang out.

We are pos­i­tive that this thought is shared by the whole com­mu­nity. Ev­ery penny spent on the restora­tion of this gym was worth­while.

The let­ter of the law

Just be­cause you’re al­lowed to do some­thing doesn’t mean you should.

Our Newton County govern­ment has failed to re­fund one of our top in­dus­tries, Bridge­stone Golf, $83,000 that Bridge­stone over­paid in taxes in 2006 and 2007.

Bridge­stone asked for its money back more than a year ago, Nov. 7, 2009. The county said the er­ror was made by Bridge­stone em­ploy­ees and, upon le­gal ad­vice, agreed to let the request for the re­fund lapse, ac­cord­ing to our re­port on Wed­nes­day. A county at­tor­ney said that Bridge­stone had a year to file an ap­peal to the Newton County Su­pe­rior Court.

Bridge­stone asked to have the over-pay­ment ap­plied to its 2009 taxes. The city of Cov­ing­ton in Oc­to­ber agreed to re­im­burse the busi­ness for its over­paid taxes, and paid them in Novem­ber.

Cov­ing­ton Mayor Kim Carter said that it was the right thing to do, and we agree.

We’re puz­zled by how the county seems to think oth­er­wise, that they should keep money that ended up in their cof­fers through a cler­i­cal er­ror. What would Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan think if she found out af­ter a trip to the gro­cery store that she had been over­charged, went back to the store to seek a re­fund, only to be told that it was too late, that she had al­ready paid for the item?

That’s no way to run a busi­ness, and make no mis­take, county govern­ment is a busi­ness. What sort of sig­nals does such a petty move send to in­dus­tries con­sid­er­ing lo­cat­ing here? And what will Bridge­stone say about its ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with Newton County when asked by other in­dus­tries?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.