letters to the editor
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