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Rockdale Citizen Poll 12-15-07

This week's citizens poll was an open line ...

"The recent suggestion to utilize vacant buildings for adult entertainment purposes may not be too far off base. Let's consider some facts here. Vacant buildings do not bring in any revenue to the county aside from property taxes. Vacant buildings can become an eyesore and give the impression of a poor economic climate. It goes without saying that we certainly have more than enough churches. Since churches are tax exempt, they do not bring any revenue into the county. On the other hand, adult entertainment with the income from cover charges, liquor sales, liquor licenses, table dances, etc. could bring in sizeable income. It would also provide employment to quite a few people. Aside from income, this would provide an entertainment venue that is sorely lacking in the area. One need merely look towards Las Vegas to see the economic impact that is possible. We could even consider adding gambling at a later date. That would certainly be more exciting than the Georgia Lottery. Just visualize the additional tax dollars from all peripheral businesses in Rockdale provided by visitors who would flock here from other areas. Time to think outside of the box.

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"Referring to the Dec. 8 edition of the Citizen Poll ... Wow ... just wow. Sometimes when we reply to someone else's comment, we should be careful not to stoop to a level of disrespect and combativeness. Each of us who read this and contribute have the necessary communication skills needed and should use them. Even if you're making a valid point and you believe strongly in your message, the meaning can be lost because of your attitude. This is our community, so what good does it do to be active in it, if you're only spreading negativity. Come on ya'll ... direct your efforts in a positive manner ... you never know who's watching and taking their cues from you. Thank you."

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"I think the Rockdale Citizen should research the police blotter over the past five years and show a sampling over those years in a future issue. It will become very clear why our police and sheriff's departments can't keep up with every request for patrols. Regardless of some pathetic reader comments, those officers will be there when you need them the most, but if you don't believe it, then move. I don't care where, just move out. On another note, kudos to all the comments for or against our county commissioners. You're involved and that is what really matters."

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"To the person who saw the four police cruisers one morning ... but, still found time to complain about police visibility. Go back and read your own Citizen Poll comments please. One: You agree that traffic around Conyers is bad. Two: You wrote 'at a time when we need police visibility?' From what I read of your own observations, the police are addressing the traffic problem by stopping people for traffic infractions, just like they are supposed to do. Good job, boys. Second, and this is where I get really confused (maybe you do too) ... did you say you saw four police cruisers that morning? Four police cruisers? Isn't four police cruisers within a few blocks of one another enough visibility for you? Maybe we need to define visibility here or simply have you retract your Citizen Poll comments. Why is it that we have to focus on the negative all the time? Can no one support the police and public safety in general around here when these men and women are placing their lives on the line every day? Seems like we are all quick to forget 9/11 and the sacrifices that these heroes are willing to make for us just so we can sit back and complain about them. The papers around the country are littered with mall and school shootings, but you are complaining about seeing so many police cruisers? The next time you need help and have to call the police ... think about your own attitude when one of these selfless public servants shows up to give you that help. Shake their hand, apologize, and then thank them. Low salary, hectic hours, a public that can only complain (not praise), bad attitudes, and did I mention how dangerous the work is? Yeah ... sign me up for that job. Why not go out and ride with the officers one night so you can see how dedicated they are to making the community safe. Maybe from inside a police cruiser you will get the visibility you so desperately do not have right now. Support your local public safety: police, sheriff, fire and EMS."

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"I enjoyed reading the items in your opinion poll regarding the missing 2,000 water customers. I remember Sheriff Wiggington years ago developing a citizens' group, and I know some of these members. This sheriff's alumni does all kinds of work for the county and the sheriff's office. They all have a very high clearance to be in the jails and other areas to work as volunteers. I think our county commission chairman needs to ask his old boss, Sheriff Wiggington, to help out Atlanta's dynamic team to help rustle up those fees. Better yet, these alumni folks can team up with a sheriff's deputy after hours and help the sheriff's deputy earn a bounty on every one they bring into the jail. Yes, real old-time justice in Rockdale County is what we need. Come on, Chairman Middlebrooks, make the call to the sheriff, set the bounty price law to round up these very bad thieves among us."

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"You win, Rockdale. Within the last two weeks, the papers have been scattered all over the front yard on Saturday morning, twice. This morning the mail box busted with a baseball bat. In the meantime, never even see a police car in Bridgewater Place. I'll move. I'll give my house away. You win."

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"You know the polls have been talking about Obama and all of them. I would like to know if the people are listening to who are not for illegal immigration. There are so many of them up there that are for illegal immigration, like Clinton, Obama, Richardson - it doesn't matter if they are Democrat or Republican. People need to listen to what the candidate is for. Most of the Democrats are for illegals to stay here and take American jobs. You need to think before you vote."

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"The 'Gift of Light Show' at Ebenezer United Methodist Church on Stanton Road is outstanding. It is truly a wonderful tribute and good news for our community. I think everyone should go out and see the light show. It is a wonderful and amazing event. My family went and had a great time. That's something good going on in Rockdale County."

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"The biased media coverage of the 66th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was absolutely pathetic for a day that will live in infamy."

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"I am very tired of hearing people complain about Rockdale Hospital's Emergency Room. My husband had a heart attack two weeks ago. We received the most professional, courteous care possible. The problem came when we were taken to Crawford Long. I have never seen so many people work so hard to get out of work. To the person who won't go to Rockdale County Hospital Emergency Room because they want to live, I hope they have the time to search out another ER in another town, and if they do have that much time, perhaps their emergency is not such an emergency after all."

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"I am a local doctor. I want to make a comment on some of the training practices at one of the local middle schools. I don't want to refer directly to that middle school. But, I had a patient, a 12-year-old boy who had symptoms from over-exertion. In that school, they have an hour and a half of conditioning in the morning and an hour and a half of practice after that. The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Sports Medicine has guidelines for how much is too much for youngsters. From my perusal of those guidelines, this is too much. I hope the coaches reconsider or ask a pediatrician or sports medicine doc their opinion on how much is too much exercise for these young boys at this point. Their growth plates are not fully developed, and they are at risk for inflammation of muscle tissue and joints."

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"I am calling about the yellow sticker that police are putting on the cars in the parking lot. It just seems to me they are helping the thieves by flagging the cars with the yellow sticker so the thieves will know which cars to go to - and they don't have to go check out other cars in the parking lots. Maybe there is some way they can help innocent victims and not the thieves."

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"I'm all for helping out in this water shortage. If the sheriff can require inmates to take 5-minute showers three times a week, I am going to take a 4-minute shower two times a week. Do you think my wife will let me get away with it?"

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"Sunday's Rockdale Citizen's headline 'RMC unveils heart center at the cost of $2.5 million.' Was this planned before or after the authority and RMC decided the financial woes were enough that they needed to look for a new buyer or a buyer for the hospital? This is amazing. Most of us have to live within our means. And if you don't have the money to pay your bills, you don't do these type things. It is time Mrs. (Ethel) Boyle stepped down as chairman of the Hospital Authority, and let someone else lead whatever the future plans will be for our hospital. No matter what anybody says, RMC will always be the people's hospital, whether it is owned by Signature or others. We the people just want to keep our hospital continuing to improve slowly and as it should. But, we will never be an Emory, St. Joseph's or Piedmont Hospital. But, we are a hospital that provides great care for the people of this county. In turn, when they need to go elsewhere, the doctors send them."

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"OK, here is another 'Did I get this straight?' comment. Last week, your front page indicated Rockdale County has a $2 million budget shortfall, yet they are paying for half of a quarter-million dollar traffic light that isn't in their jurisdiction - for a shopping center that already has one light, for which the state says isn't needed on their own road, and refuses to pay for. Worse yet, the future maintenance cost was stated as being split between the city and county governments. Talk about defying gravity. Commissioners, would you please reconsider? If you must have a light, move the existing light down to the other entrance and save some money. The answer is not another traffic light in spite of how many prominent and powerful people live in that Irwin Place subdivision across the street you want to appease. Further, I don't like the idea of you splitting ongoing maintenance with the city either. If you are going to blur the distinctions between city and county, you might as well merge and save a lot of duplication costs for taxpayers. You commissioners disappoint me with this decision."

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"I would like to thank Elaine Nash for following the course of her beliefs to find answers to questions that she has asked over and over again. To Mr. (Garvin) Haynes, remember you are a citizen of this county and you have every right to your opinions and questions. To Mr. (Jason) Hill, when angry, count to 10 before you speak; if very angry, count to 100."

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"I read a lot of articles about Rockdale Medical Center. I just want to thank them, especially the ER staff. Recently, my husband had to be carried there with his heart. He was at the point of death. I have never seen anyone work so hard to save a life. They really worked hard and then transferred him to an Atlanta hospital. We have been going to Rockdale County's hospital for many years now. We have never had any problems. I wish every one could appreciate what we have in our Rockdale Hospital. We want to again thank the staff and those in ER for the diligent job they did while working with my husband. They saved his life."