Newton should heed lessons learned in other counties
We have arrived at a new era in Newton County government. I would venture to say we have hit the reset button in several areas of county government. The downside is that we do not get to reset our problems and challenges.
Lately I have read articles, clicked on URLs, and viewed TV having to do with corruption at the federal, state and local levels. Save for a very few isolated incidents, I am of the opinion we have been able to remain relatively free of these types issues in our county. That has not been by mistake. Our elected officials for the most part have not exposed us to the type of problems we have witnessed in other counties such as Gwinnett and DeKalb. I have no reason to believe that will change, but the lessons learned by others should not be exclusive to others, should they?
So how do we, as a county, discourage corruption? A few personal suggestions: First, we the voters should understand to the extent possible each candidate prior to casting our vote. Second, we remain informed by attending meetings, reading news notes on the issues, and questioning what we do not understand. Third -- and this is directed at our elected officials, you are servants of the people of Newton County. If your goal while in office is to truly serve, then corruption is not a possibility for you.
Lastly, surround yourself with people (not necessarily friends) that you can speak with and bounce your thoughts off of. These people should not be afraid to let you know when they feel there is an issue -- perceived or real. I have seen this process play out successfully in social and business settings, and I am sure it is utilized by elected officials to some extent in many places.
I have every confidence that our elected officials will continue to act with common sense, integrity and honesty. They deserve our encouragement to do so and our support. If we can derail corruption before it ever gets footing, our elected officials can remain objectively productive and that can only be a good thing for Newton County's citizens. The eyes of a county are watching and will only be closed when praying for our elected officials' wisdom and good judgment.
-- Stan Edwards Jr.