The OneNewton Initiative

I understand that there are many things that can separate us. I also understand that there are many things that bring us together. During my first year as Chairman, I sensed a strengthening air of divisiveness in our community. I began walking the Square every morning praying for guidance to address this issue.  Occasionally, some citizens joined me.  It was during this period that the concept of OneNewton presented itself. The OneNewton initiative was designed to address two measures.

First, once in office, I quickly discovered that the leadership in our community and County and municipal departments were operating in silos. While there was one goal in mind, each entity attempted to tackle that goal in their own individual respective way. One thing I have learned about leadership is that no one entity can maximize success alone. I believe by collectively operating as one to address a common goal makes us more efficient in our day to day operations. It makes us more desirable for economic development because we are able to provide more resources for prospective industries. Finally, and more importantly, working as one with a common goal is more fiscally responsible for all involved.

Second, my vision was to develop a strong sense of unity in the community. I wanted OneNewton to signify that regardless of our differences, we can respect and embrace our diversity and work together for a common good. From this measure, I, with the support of the County Commissioners, started Family Fun Day. Our first Family Fun Day took place in April 2018. This event is funded solely by donations from private entities. It’s an opportunity for our community to join together for fellowship and learn about the various resources and government agencies available in the community. In addition, each Newton County municipality (Porterdale, Oxford, Newborn, Social Circle, Mansfield and Covington) is showcased.

It is amazing to me how this initiative has taken flight. OneNewton has forged collaborations among competing segments in our community. It has brought opposing groups together to work toward one goal, building a better Newton County by making it an exceptional place to work, play and live. One day I was asked by a sixty-year-old citizen what does OneNewton really mean to me. I simply stated that the citizens, Covington, Oxford, Mansfield, Newborn, Social Circle and Porterdale equals Newton County working together, growing together and succeeding together. That is OneNewton.