COVINGTON -- Lamar Brown has launched his campaign for the Post 3 East Ward seat on the Covington City Council.
Brown announced he intends to qualify next week to run for the post against incumbent Keith Dalton.
"I'm not interested in politics for the sake of politics," Brown said. "But I'm concerned by the direction the council has taken recently. We seem to be losing sight of the importance of long-range planning and the need for proactive leadership."
Brown said there are several studies, such as the Livable Centers Initiative study, that have been conducted as a result of the Newton County Leadership Collaborative and the results need to be implemented.
"Basically I feel the city is stagnating, sitting still, and we need to move forward," he said.
Brown said he wants to see more action taken to bring in jobs and improve the local economy.
"The whole world revolves around the economy; we can't sit on our hands. We need to be looking for opportunities. Right now we're sitting on the sidelines. It's like we're watching the game," he said.
"People say they are conservative and that's all fine and good. But it's too easy to become penny wise and pound foolish," he added. "Growing our local economy is like growing any business. You have to keep your eyes on the ultimate objective ... You don't achieve good results with luck or by waiting for things to happen. You figure out what it will take, and you make it happen as a team."
Brown said he welcomes public input and will be open about his opinions and explain why he votes yes or no on any issue.
"The job of a council member is to listen with an open mind to all sides of an issue, but at the end of the day, I have to make the decision that is best for the long-term interests of the city. I believe people want and respect that, provided you discuss those decisions in the light of day and you explain yourself clearly," he said.
Brown's father, the late Cecil Brown, served for 19 years on the Water and Sewerage Authority, helping to plan and construct Lake Varner Reservoir. Brown watched him attend meeting after meeting as he and others planned for the county's future.
"Our prosperity today is a result of men and women who had the vision to see what needed doing and the courage to act. We need that spirit today if we want our children and grandchildren to have the same quality of life we've enjoyed," he said.
Brown,48, was born and raised in Covington. Following graduation from Newton County High School, he attended Gwinnett Technical College and served in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician from 1981 to 1987.
After the Navy, Brown returned to Newton County and worked for 12 years in the family's nursery business. He has been employed for the past 11 years by Fire and Life Safety America, a company that designs, fabricates, installs and services fire protection systems. Brown was part of a team that increased annual company revenues from $900,000 to $6 million during a three-year stretch.
Brown and his wife Kimberly live on North Dearing Street in downtown Covington. He has two daughters, a grandson and a stepson.
He asked that citizens email him with input or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualifying takes place next week for the Nov. 8 Municipal Election.