COVINGTON - Main Street Covington Director Josephine Kelly has resigned, effective June 7.
Kelly submitted her resignation to the city of Covington Friday. She has served as Main Street director for 12 years. The Main Street Board of Directors was notified at a special called meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Though Main Street is jointly funded by the city and county, the Main Street director is a city employee and an appointment is the responsibility of the city.
The city has 120 days to fill the vacancy and is required by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to have an interim director during that time period. City Manager Leigh Anne Knight has appointed former City Manager Steve Horton interim director, she announced at the meeting.
"Josephine has given us a good tenure and a lot of good things and we are very appreciative of that and we thank her for her work and all that she's done for us," Knight said.
Kelly, who attended the meeting, said when she came on board as director 12 years ago, she intended to stay for two years, but noted that the process of downtown development is never done and "it's hard to let go."
"We just made the decision as a family this is the time to do it. I'm seeing good things in terms of economic development and recovery," she said and added that she will be still working within the field of downtown development with independent, small businesses and will remain in the community.
Kelly said the program has had some outstanding board members, and there are new board members coming in that are working well together, "so I'm really excited about the future of the program. Thank you for the opportunity to work alongside you."
Mayor Ronnie Johnston, who championed a review of Main Street by an outside consultant that raised the ire of some board members earlier this year, acknowledged that he and Kelly have "had our ups and downs a little bit" but, "I think it would be incredibly naive of me not to recognize what you have done in this community the last 12 years…you have broken a lot of new territory and you have taken this city to a level and you should be very proud of that and if I've diminished that in any way, shape or form I apologize because that was not my intent. The work you have done will be remembered forever in this community."