New­ton can be a model

The Covington News - - OPINION -

There is no ques­tion that we are suf­fer­ing from a gen­eral lack of qual­ity lead­er­ship in New­ton County at this time. Can that be turned around? We think so, but it is go­ing to take our cur­rent lead­er­ship to be will­ing to com­mu­ni­cate and co­op­er­ate with other com­mu­nity of­fi­cials to start the process.

One of the pro­grams that the lead­er­ship of the past started was a col­lab­o­ra­tion of lo­cal city, county and busi­ness lead­ers. This col­lab­o­ra­tion led to the cre­ation of the Cen­ter — a think tank of com­mu­nity progress that started the county down the road to pro­gres­sive growth.

Af­ter 2008, when the bot­tom fell out of our com­mu­nity be­cause of the eco­nomic crash, we lost many of the folks who pro­vided that pos­i­tive lead­er­ship.

In the past year there was a ma­jor com­mu­nity push back on one item on the col­lab­o­ra­tive agenda — the 2050 plan.

Be­cause we lacked the lead­er­ship that could have in­sured that the 2050 plan was changed to fit the com­mu­nity’s needs, this one is­sue was al­lowed to nearly de­stroy the hopes and plans of past lead­er­ship groups. It was like us­ing an old adage “throw­ing the baby out with the bath wa­ter”

The may­ors of our com­mu­nity re­al­ized that in­deed we do need some kind of work­able plan for our county to have a chance to have a pro­gres­sive and or­ga­nized fu­ture.

They have come to­gether to form a plan called New­ton To­mor­row. In ad­di­tion to the may­ors and chair­man, other lead­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity will serve in the new col­lab­o­ra­tive.

We are en­cour­aged to see that all meet­ings planned by this group to dis­cuss our fu­ture will be open to the public, so here is a chance for those who claimed that they knew noth­ing of the work­ings of the for­mer col­lab­o­ra­tive to be in­voved.

For full de­tails and a video of this new plan­ning group see Fri­day’s Dig­i­tal News­pa­per at cov­news­dig­i­tal.com.

The well-re­spected Mayor of Ox­ford, Jerry Rosen­berry and Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston are to be com­mended for their vi­sion in putting this col­lab­o­ra­tive to­gether.

This new col­lab­o­ra­tive does not need to be nor should it be po­lit­i­cal in any­way.

We be­lieve that group pro­vides us a chance to drop the swords and bring out the plow­shares and to use all of our good com­mon senses to en­sure that New­ton County again be­comes the model of growth and pros­per­ity that it once was.

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