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Monk qualifies for BOC

COVINGTON - Former county commissioner Susette Monk has qualified to run for Board of Commissioners Chair.

Monk, a Republican, pledged to get local projects moving if she's elected.

"I don't want to be hypercritical of the incumbent, but I feel like we've had a lack of vision and leadership and a lack of momentum," she said. "We can do better, and we've got to do better. We must do better. We've got a dry reservoir sitting unfinished; we've got a technology park sitting unfinished; we have no effective strategy that links businesses, the community and leaders in a partnership to attract commercial growth and major employers.

"I feel we've got to bring Newton County back into balance. We've got too many unfulfilled goals that we already have major dollars invested in, and we have got to complete them. That's just not being a good steward of what we've already started," Monk

continued. "We've got to put someone in that can bring about commercial growth and understands the importance of what that's going to do for the economy here."

Monk represented District 3 on the Board of Commissioners for one term beginning in 1989. She has also served as chair of the Newton County Republican Party; on the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority Board of Directors; and on the Recreation Commission and Solid Waste Commission.

Monk moved to Newton County in 1979. She attended West Georgia College and has a degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. She works as a real estate broker and interior designer.

She has one daughter, Natalie Harris.

Monk said she believes her experience in local government and business qualifies her for the job of commission chair.

"Please look at past experience," she said. "Take a look at how progressive we were in the early '90s. We started a project and finished a project. There was a lot more communication, I feel like, between our board, most definitely, than the communication we have today. It was a more open government. We've got to get back to that. People want to be involved, and we've got to allow them to be involved."

Qualifying for the July 15 general primary is taking place this week.

Incumbent Aaron Varner and Ed Hutter, both Republicans, have also qualified for the chairman's seat.

Crystal Tatum can be reached crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.