COVINGTON — Retired businesswoman and community activist Fleeta Baggett has announced she will run for Covington City Council Post 2 East.
Baggett is seeking the seat currently held by Michael Whatley, who has announced he will not seek reelection in the Nov. 5 balloting.
“I was born and raised in Covington. I raised my daughter here, and I’m proud to call Covington home,” said Baggett in a released statement. “This city has experienced tremendous growth and withstood multiple downturns. I love my community, and I think it’s time the council had a fresh perspective on it. And I believe I’m the one to do that.”
“There are a lot of challenges that lay ahead for the city of Covington, and I believe I’m prepared to help confront these challenges,” Baggett said. “We’re currently facing a 22 percent increase in our utilities over the next five years. We must find a solution that doesn’t place the burden of Georgia Power’s missteps on the backs of our citizens. The City Council must be more fiscally conservative and make necessary cuts. The city needs to absorb a portion of these increases.”
Baggett said she also plans to focus on the continued growth of the Downtown Square.
“As someone who built and managed a business on the Square, I know the challenges that our merchants are facing,” she said. “The City Council must find a way to provide additional parking downtown and put policies in place that will let our business owners know they’re a priority.”
Attracting the right type of quality development is also a concern for Baggett.
“Covington is an amazing place and our close proximity to Atlanta makes us a prime spot for development,” she said. “We must support quality growth and move away from the multitude of apartment complexes that are continually getting zoned. Our zoning regulations need to be tightened, and we need to work to build high quality residential developments that can grow our tax digest. Covington is home to multi-billion dollar corporations, like General Mills and SKC, and I want their employees to call Covington home, not Lake Oconee or Walton County.”
Baggett is a graduate of Valdosta State University. She is a lifelong member of Covington First United Methodist Church and has one daughter, Madelyn Baggett. She previously owned and operated Trinkets, which was located on the Square in Covington. In 2012 she moved to Daufuskie, South Carolina for several years to run the day-to-day operations of a local golf course. She’s also a founding investor in Daufuskie Island Rum Company. She retired in 2016 and moved back to Covington full time. She currently serves on the boards of CASA and Action Ministry.