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Covington mayor-elect speaks to Rotary Club

COVINGTON -- In his first public remarks since the November election, Covington Mayor-elect Ronnie Johnston outlined a handful of goals he plans to address when he takes office next month.

Johnston told members of the Rotary Club of Covington in a Tuesday meeting at Starrsville Plantation that uniting the council to work together will be one of his first objectives. Johnston said he believes the mayor's role is to help the council work together.

"It's about leadership; it's about uniting people and bringing people together," he said.

Johnston said he hopes to help the council focus on their most important job, which is to do what is best for the city of Covington.

Secondly, Johnston said he plans to institute a budget billing process for city utility customers.

Johnston said that while campaigning door to door he observed areas of the city where residents are suffering extreme economic hardship. A budget billing process, in which a customer's annual utility costs are divided into equal monthly payments, would provide some relief, he said.

Johnson also hopes to develop a group of local religious leaders who could work together to undertake mission work in the community.

Johnston also said he will work to convince City Manager Steve Horton to withdraw his retirement. Horton announced earlier this year that he would retire in July 2012.

"He's a good man and I think he's done a great job," Johnston said.