Ellis and Ewing resign from JDA

Updated: December 23, 2015 2:52 p.m.
The Covington News

By Sandra Brands 770-728-1409

Citing their protest to the sale of land to a residential developer at “below market” value, Keith Ellis, Chair of the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC), and county resident and former BOC District 1 Commissioner, T. M. “Mort” Ewing submitted letters of resignation from the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties.

Both men represented Newton County on the JDA, Ellis as chair of the BOC and Ewing as a citizen representative.

The men each referenced the Joint Development Authority’s (JDA) decision in November to sell Stanton Springs land to developer Kippy Clarke and partners for a new residential neighborhood. (See story “Ellis, Ewing object to JDA land sale” at

The primary objection they shared addressed the sale of the land at a price per acre that was significantly below its worth, as stated by the JDA’s CPA Wayne Tamplin. According to Tamplin, the land was worth $13,569.95 per acre as of Dec. 31, 2014. The sale, as agreed to, was “significantly below [that] Cost Basis,” according to a memo sent to the BOC in November.

The land sits solely in the Newton County portion of the multi-county Stanton Springs. In February, the Newton County BOC will consider a zoning petition regarding the proposed development. The county’s planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to deny the petition to rezone.

Both Ellis and Ewing have served on the JDA for the past 3 years. Ewing also serving during his time as District 1 Commissioner. Both resignations are effective by Dec. 31, 2015.

The JDA meets monthly and each county BOC appoints their own representatives.

Your comments are welcome!




This entry was posted in County, Economic Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Stanton Springs A Leak says:

    WOW…T. M. “Mort” Ewing and Keith Ellis both proponents of the failed Bear Creek fiasco and supporters the main beneficiary of that project Tommy Craig, both resign from JDA/Stanton Springs, another taxpayer funded fiasco they championed until this public land giveaway became such a heated issue. Assuming they were the two votes against the land sale, why resign now, unless they are attempting to distance themselves from JDA in the event other dealings become public that may prove to be extremely embarrassing for all involved in the Stanton Springs land development scheme?

    Time will tell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s