John­ston re­signs from SWA

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­

Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston re­signed from his po­si­tion on the New­ton County Solid Waste Au­thor­ity (SWA) Mon­day, April 24 after claim­ing the con­di­tions of the au­thor­ity were not some­thing un­der which he could vol­un­teer.

John­ston, who was ap­pointed to the SWA by SWA mem­ber and New­ton County Com­mis­sioner Lanier Sims, joined the au­thor­ity in 2016 “with the in­ten­tion of serv­ing the cit­i­zens of New­ton County by help­ing nav­i­gate through some ob­sta­cles when it came to solid waste dis­posal,” ac­cord­ing to his res­ig­na­tion let­ter.

John­ston re­ported un­der­stand­ing the scope of work given to the SWA and was pre­pared to be­gin work­ing to­wards im­prove­ments.

“I as­sumed the au­thor­ity would have the abil­ity to con­duct busi­ness and make de­ci­sions that were best for the county as an en­tity free from in­flu­ence of county of­fi­cials,” John­ston wrote in his res­ig­na­tion let­ter. “I was ex­cited at the cre­ation

of an au­thor­ity to han­dle the solid waste is­sues be­cause I thought it would move this im­por­tant topic and rel­e­vant busi­ness away from the po­lit­i­cal arena. Un­for­tu­nately, I have learned that is not the case.

“The lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­stric­tions placed on the solid waste au­thor­ity are not con­di­tions un­der which I can vol­un­teer.”

John­ston wished the best mov­ing for­ward to New­ton County and the SWA, but said he it was in every­one’s best in­ter­est for him to step down im­me­di­ately.

John­ston sent the res­ig­na­tion let­ter to Wayne Haynie, chair­man of the SWA, New­ton County Chair­man Mar­cello Banes and Sims. Sims will be tasked with fill­ing John­ston’s seat.

John­ston has been mayor in Cov­ing­ton since Jan. 1, 2012. He was re-elected in 2015 to a sec­ond term start­ing Jan. 1, 2016.


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