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Horton wins regional honor

City Manager Steve Horton was joined by his wife Mary, son Steven and granddaughter Taylor at a party in his honor at Covington City Hall.

City Manager Steve Horton was joined by his wife Mary, son Steven and granddaughter Taylor at a party in his honor at Covington City Hall.

COVINGTON -- Covington City Manager Steve Horton has been named Local Government Administrator of the Year by the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission.

Horton received the honor at an NGRC meeting held in Athens Thursday. Nominated by former City Manager Frank Turner, Horton's family, friends and co-workers kept the honor a surprise. Horton's second surprise of the day came after he arrived back at City Hall, where city employees met him with shouts of "Surprise!" and a cake.

"It's my honor. It always has been. I love you all," Horton said.

Horton has been a city employee for 35 years. He was appointed city manager in 2005 after having served as both public works director and deputy city manager.

Horton started his career with the city in the Covington Police Department, where he worked his way up through the ranks over the course of 12 years. In the late '80s, Horton decided to switch career gears, and went to work as a lineman in the city's Electric Department.

In hopes of moving into upper management with the city, Horton attended night school while working in the Electric Department, eventually earning an undergraduate degree in business from Mercer University.

In 1993 he switched jobs again, accepting a position as the city's safety risk manager.

Soon after, Police Chief Bob Moody left the force and recommended Horton serve as interim chief. Horton held that position for a year and a half, but left in 1997 to become the city's public works director.

The position "gave me the opportunity to learn more about government than I could have in any other aspect of the city," Horton previously told the Citizen.

It also gave him the opportunity to work with then City Manager Frank Turner on a daily basis. Turner "pulled me under his wing," Horton said. "He opened his mind and his heart to me and poured everything he could on me. I got up every day ready to come here ... Every day, I said what can I learn today, not only to make me a better employee, but to make a better community."

Turner eventually appointed Horton as deputy city manager and recommended Horton for the city manager's position upon his retirement.

Horton previously announced he would retire in July of this year but has agreed to stay on for up to a year longer.

Comments

djwalden 1 year, 11 months ago

Steve Horton is a man of character and a great example of how we ALL should conduct ourselves in business and in life. He knows how to examine issues with respect to the needs of the people and the laws of the city, and he also knows how to bring people of differing opinions together to create consensus on difficult issues. We have been blessed to have Mr. Horton serve our community in so many capacities over the past 35 years.

The next time that you see Steve Horton out and about, please take a moment to thank him for his tireless efforts to make this place that we love, an even better place to live.

God bless you Steve Horton.

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sweetpotato 1 year, 11 months ago

well said djwalden, Steve is a good man and I hate to see him retire I just hope that the City Council will pick someone of equal ability to fill his shoes. City Manager is a very important position and I urge the Council to be very cautious on picking a replacement we may not find another Frank Turner or Steve Horton but we should try !

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KimberlyD 1 year, 11 months ago

Mr. Turner and Steve are fine, outstanding men. I had the pleasure of working under them both!! really considering going back to work at the city!!

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jwm1955 1 year, 10 months ago

Great job Steve you deserve this honor, the City of Covington has been blessed with great leaders. There have been a lot of good memories over the years even when we were in school back in the good old days. The City of Covington means a lot to me even back to the days when Walker Harris was Mayor. God bless you my friend and praying for you everyday.

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