let­ters to the edi­tor

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Neigh­bor­hood has in­flu­ence

I would like to re­spond to a let­ter in the July 24 edi­tion of The Cov­ing­ton News in which 14 fam­i­lies came to the de­fense of Coun­cil­man Keith Dal­ton con­cern­ing his eth­i­cal prob­lems. The let­ter was short on sub­stance and long on ram­bling, rhetoric and back slap­ping along with a grandiose de­scrip­tion of their neigh­bor­hood while be­lit­tling their neigh­bors in the Cov­ing­ton Place sub­di­vi­sion.

I whole­heart­edly agree with The Cov­ing­ton News’ print­ing the sto­ries per­tain­ing to law vi­o­la­tions on the part of Mr. Dal­ton. Th­ese 14 fam­i­lies seem to think that gen­eros­ity and pop­u­lar­ity can be used as a means to sug­ar­coat il­le­gal or un­eth­i­cal be­hav­ior.

I am fa­mil­iar with their neigh­bor­hood. This area since its in­cep­tion has been privy to city perks that were lack­ing in the neigh­bor­hoods west of the city.

When houses were built in this area, they were pro­vided with sewer lines in a hilly ter­rain. I be­lieve the city has pump sta­tions in the area that are checked daily. Yet dur­ing a long pe­riod of time chil­dren in the Westview and Lake­view drive ar­eas were play­ing in raw sew­er­age run­ning down drainage ditches in front of their homes. Res­i­dents of those ar­eas were told that city sew­er­age could not be pro­vided for them be­cause the area was hilly. Res­i­dents were tick­eted be­cause their septic tanks were in­suffi- cient and no prop­erty was avail­able to ex­tend drain fields. I be­lieve the city put in sew­er­age only af­ter the state threat­ened to con­demn the area.

For years this neigh­bor­hood re­ceived al­most daily trash and garbage pick-up while trash and garbage piled up in the west ward. Mayor Alene Bur­ton put a stop to this prac­tice, and she put the city trucks on a strict sched­ule.

The streets in this neigh­bor­hood were rou­tinely paved over to the ex­tent that the pave­ment was sev­eral inches above the con­crete curb­ing. Dur­ing this time streets in the west ward were ne­glected.

It was so bad that at one point I filed a com­plaint with the State High­way Depart­ment. As­phalt was be­ing piled on Crestview while go­ing by dirt streets (Lewis and Glover). It is amaz­ing how fast the city paved th­ese streets af­ter my com­plaint.

I won­der how many street sweep­ers the city has worn out in the area when most of the peo­ple in the west ward don’t even know what a street sweeper is.

In the past, some es­pe­cially priv­i­leged peo­ple in this neigh­bor­hood have had city em­ploy­ees come into their yards and houses and do re­pairs and other ser­vices. I have taken pic­tures of th­ese trucks and at­tached them to com­plaints sent to the city.

Mass plant­ing of trees along the streets in this area have oc­curred, while this does not hap­pen in the west ward.

I have in the past (and still do) re­fer to this area as Perkville, and in the last few years I have had many con­ver­sa­tions with my fine Coun­cil Mem­ber Ocie Franklin re­gard­ing the unequal dis­tri­bu­tion of city ser­vices.

In my opin­ion, th­ese 14 fam­i­lies seem to be glo­ri­fy­ing and de­fend­ing Mr. Dal­ton as he is their pipe­line to City Hall from which all bless­ings seem to flow in their di­rec­tion. Harry L. Long

Cov­ing­ton Flight of Leigh Anne Knight

I am re­tired from the U.S. Depart­ment of De­fense and have resided on Lake Jack­son for nine years. We used to do shop­ping and din­ing out in Cov­ing­ton, but we now go to Jack­son and Mon­ti­cello.

Cov­ing­ton al­ways seems to be a traf­fic night­mare, and there al­ways seems to be some­thing ques­tion­able re­gard­ing the City of Cov­ing­ton govern­ment. We buy the Cov­ing­ton pa­pers.

The lat­est strange act is the (free?) trans­port­ing from Florida to Cov­ing­ton of the city man­ager Leigh Anne Knight by An­gel Flight.

An­gel Flight has al­ways flown crit­i­cal pa­tients (nor­mally chil­dren) usu­ally in­di­gent, to ar­eas of the coun­try to seek treat­ment not avail­able in the state where they re­side. Ms. Knight was nei­ther in­di­gent, nor was she seek­ing med­i­cal treat­ment. She was in no time-crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion that re­quired a quick flight to Cov­ing­ton.

Her An­gel Flight seems to be only for con­ve­nience as she was back at work two weeks af­ter a heart at­tack. An­gel Flight is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion and re­ceives do­na­tions from peo­ple in all walks of life.

It seems to me that Ms. Knight’s flight was an em­bar­rass­ment to their donors and all other An­gel Flight vol­un­teers out­side Cov­ing­ton.

There are three le­gal ques­tions that need to be an­swered re­gard­ing this flight. Do the pi­lots who flew Ms. Knight have planes (or plane) housed at the Cov­ing­ton air­port?

Does Ms. Knight in her po­si­tion as city man­ager have any con­trol or in­flu­ence in re­gard to the op­er­a­tion of the air­port? Would there be any­thing for the pi­lots to gain ( in the way of fa­vors) from their trans­port­ing (free of charge) the city man­ager?

It would seem to me that the city man­ager should surely have ad­e­quate med­i­cal in­sur­ance to cover her ex­penses. It is also hard to imag­ine her sit­u­a­tion be­ing so crit­i­cal that she was able to re­turn to work in two weeks.

This is cer­tainly spe­cial treat­ment and should be thor­oughly re­viewed by the GBI or FBI since air space was in­volved. No won­der cit­i­zens mis­trust all branches of govern­ment. An­thony Mitchell

Jack­son Lake

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