Tuesday, June 8, 2010
© Copyright 2013
Words cannot adequately express the loss that Newton County has experienced with the death of former Newton County Commission Chairman Roy Varner.
"Mr. Roy," as he was known to all, was more than an elected official. He was the heart and soul of Newton County. With Mr. Roy there was never any doubt that he was looking out for the best interests of the community as a whole. There were no special interests where he was concerned.
In Mr. Roy's era, the governments of Newton County and Covington worked together -- cooperating, supporting one another's goals, sharing the same objectives. Mr. Roy and the board could discuss difficult issues and work to reach a consensus without rancor. The county supported the efforts of the smaller municipalities when they needed help.
That's how governments work when true leaders are involved -- when it doesn't matter who gets the credit, when there's no grandstanding and no ego involved. It would be hard to imagine Mr. Roy holding a press conference, sending out a press release or staging a photo op. If he wanted the newspaper to have some information, he'd pick up the phone and call. If the newspaper needed information for a story, he would take your call and give you an explanation. The point is that Mr. Roy was always accessible. He had nothing to hide and he enjoyed sharing his ideas and talking about the county's progress.
In fact, it's hard to imagine a man better suited for the job of county commission chairman than Mr. Roy, or a man better suited for the time that he served. His vision was broad, and he helped change so many things for the better in Newton County. Yet he was never heard to take credit for any of it. In fact, the one word he seemed to use the most was "cooperation."
Mr. Roy hasn't been in office for quite some time, but the things he helped accomplish and the legacy he built are a testament to how much one man can do when his purpose is for the public good. There's no doubt he'll be missed, but we're all the better because he was here.