Newton native to run for BOC District 5

COVINGTON - Newton County native John Travis made the decision to run for the District 5 seat on the Board of Commissioners because he wants to help minimize the negative impacts of rapid growth.

"We have two choices, to wait for the inevitability of growth to negatively impact our quality of life in Newton County or participating in a government proactively engaged in long-term planning and expansion that enriches our community," said Travis, who is running as a Republican. "I respect the contributions and leadership of the past and present. As a native of Newton County and Covington and a corporate manager for 25 years in other states and environments, I can offer a fresh perspective, a new pair of glasses. With no hidden agendas and no personal obligations to anyone other than voters, I can best represent the wishes of constituents of District 5."

Travis stressed the importance of striving for balanced growth and accelerating commercial and retail development, as well as growing the industrial and manufacturing base.

"No one wants the unregulated surge of years past to happen again, and actually, I think we've made strides to make sure it doesn't," he said.

Transportation and development of Stanton Springs, the four-county technology park, are other priorities and top concerns Travis said he's heard from residents.

"I don't think we have a lack of vision in the county. I support all the existing public and private initiatives. I think we've lost momentum. Why we've lost momentum, I don't know," he said.

Travis retired in 2006 as chief of operations for DeWolff, Boberg and Associates Inc., a consulting firm specializing in operations systems and corporate culture change.

Early in his career, Travis worked for 13 years for The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Bottling Companies as a district manager and vice president/general manager and serving on the board of directors for the Mid-Atlantic Canners Association.

Travis is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in business administration in international business and a graduate of The Netherlands School of International Business in Amsterdam.

He works as a real estate appraiser with Eddy Phillips, Key Realty.

"I bring a strong business background and an objective viewpoint, and I think folks might be ready for a new face," he said.

Travis is a member of First Baptist Church of Covington.

He has three children.

Travis is up against Tim Fleming in the July 15 primary.

Randy Vinson is the only Democrat running for the seat.

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