This week's Citizen Poll was an open line ...
"I would like to comment on the person who wrote in and said that retired citizens should stay off the roads in the morning. This was causing this person to be late for work. Whatever happened to 'Respect your elders?' If you can't get to work on time, it's your own fault. Stop blaming others. Try leaving a few minutes early, and it will help you. Be thankful to the retired citizens because they are the ones who helped pay for the nice roads that you get to drive on."
"I attended the Eastside Sports Banquet. I thought the coaches did an excellent job from all sports. They really care about our kids. Is it really so bad that they ran out of letters? Maybe it was a miscount or manufacturer's shortage. All athletes were recognized and came to the stage. I am sure they will get their award when it comes in. Give the coaches a break. They are important people in our kids' lives."
"I just got finished paying my property taxes and I see that the majority goes to the school board. With five of the seven school board members' terms ending next year, I won't waste time commenting about the current board's performance, but instead encourage educated and proficient members of our community who aren't afraid to make tough decisions to consider running for these positions. Rockdale has one of the highest tax rates for schools in the state. Twenty mills is the cap without having to have legislative approval and Rockdale has 21 mills. I would hope some individuals with more fiscal allegiance to the taxpayers would become elected and reduce this rate to a more reasonable 17 to 18 mills. I really think the school board could make large cuts at the county office level and actually operate more proficiently. Why do we have all these curriculum people when the state already provides this? Why do we have to lease buildings from an existing school board member with no bids solicited to expand county office space? Why must taxpayers pay for a school open at night for those who couldn't graduate from the schools we already have? When you see so much discussion on the name change of the alternative school for something so trivial, you know we have too much bureaucracy. Eliminating useless staff positions might even improve teacher retention at the classroom level. I feel sorry for the many residents paying the school tax yet homeschooling their own children because they don't feel the schools are meeting their needs. If you have a graduate degree at the master's level for which some of it is in business administration, would you consider running for school board? Persons who like to throw money at problems rather than using rational judgment need not apply."
"As I read the Citizen Poll, I'm growing increasingly concerned about treason. The treason I'm speaking of is that people are actually questioning the decisions of King Jason and Queen JaNice. ... My, my, my."
"My comment is Rockdale County should put a moratorium on building. Every day in the Rockdale Citizen there is something about crime, drugs, beatings, murders. It's just too much. This county has grown too fast. We didn't move here for all of this. It was a small county when we moved here and that's the way we would keep it. So please, someone in charge, whoever that might be, put a moratorium on building."
"I would like to ask the people who are calling in reference to the B.J. Franklin case that (they) please remember that he has family reading the paper as well, and a lot of us did not know him. So unless you are willing to have your children judged at a time such as his family is going through, then please do not comment on what he should have done, should not have done, because none of us really know. We need to step back now and allow justice to be served and remember that our family - I am his aunt - has other children. He had siblings as well who read the paper, and to read people making comments about their relatives is very inappropriate and is very difficult for the family during a time like this. Also, this is the second time our family has had to deal with a death during the holiday seasons. So please be respectful. Everyone has an opinion, but also remember that this family is grieving as well. We don't feel anything bad toward Sheriff (Jeff) Wigington and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Department. We think they are doing their job. We pray and hope the GBI is doing their job as well, and in the end, we just want justice to be served. Our hearts go out to the family of the officer that had to do what he felt he had to do. But our hearts go out even more to our family. We would also like to thank the Citizen for your comments you have made pertaining to some of the statements that have been made by people. We appreciate and respect you for that. Best wishes to all for a safe and happy holiday season."
"Hello, Citizen Poll. When I opened my paper today, Dec. 25, I was appalled to see there was no headline that said Merry Christmas. No red lettering with green holly. You had red and green on the page, but no Merry Christmas. So I say to you all, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and to all a good night."
"I would like to comment on the greed that has now developed with the management/Santa Claus at Stonecrest Mall. I took my kids, 10 and 14, to see Santa today. All we wanted was the fun picture so I could put it in Christmas cards. It's not like my kids are little and need to tell Santa what they want. After waiting in line for about 15 minutes, my kids get their turn. I stand in front to snap a few pictures of them with Santa and I'm told, 'Oh sorry, you can't take your own pictures unless you purchase something.' Well, I didn't want to spend money on the high-priced junk they had nor did I need it. So I didn't get any pictures. My 10-year-old daughter comes to me when they walked down and asked to see the pictures. I said, 'I'm sorry. Santa wouldn't let me take any since we didn't buy anything.' Needless to say, she was disappointed. She said, 'Mom, we've always been able to take our own pictures here.' The mall says it is a management policy, which, mind you, isn't posted anywhere near where you wait in line. It is posted in small print in the middle of the mall aisle. I had to ask the 'elf' to show me where it was posted at. Has Santa now taken on the greed factor like a lot of other commercial places have today?"
"This is for Rockdale Citizen newspaper delivery person for my route carrier. I wrote a letter to the Citizen's circulation department Nov. 23 and I asked them to place the newspaper in our box. Finally, the paper starts to come in our box Saturday, Dec. 15. The paper is double bagged by plastic bags and it is in the right place. Thank you! It took me two separate times of the letter writing, three phone calls and e-mails to Citizen personally, and I begged to help my situation. One more thing - I have to purchase a Citizen newspaper box and we have it newly installed next to my mailbox. I don't think delivering newspapers is an easy task. Again, I thank you for your extra efforts. Next time you deliver my newspaper, make sure to take a look at that paper box. Who knows? Santa might have left something for you. I wish you have a grand holidays season."
"In regards to the tax reform bill introduced by Rep. Glenn Richardson that promises property tax relief, Rockdale County Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis was quoted as saying: 'I tell you who the big winners will be - the federal government.' Now everyone knows the state Department of Revenue collects taxes for the state of Georgia and has nothing to do with the federal system. And this person is an educator and financial officer? People should use this as example of what's wrong with the public school system."
"First off, safe and happy holidays to everyone. For the many of you who are not law enforcement, do you know what law enforcement makes with the city, with the county? Do you know many officers and deputies need to work side jobs just to take care of their families? Do you have any idea what an officer/deputy has to put up with out there on the street? We know by reading the Citizen each day that crime has a stronghold here in the city and the county - drugs, thefts, burglaries and armed robberies, to name a few. I could ask as we go into the New Year, maybe you might take a moment and thank that officer/deputy you see for giving their best each and every day. They try to make things as safe as possible here in the city/county. It is not easy. Sleep soundly, for law enforcement is on duty 24/7. To the readers, I wish you the best in 2008. Happy New Year."
"Kudos to the sheriff's department for the nice thing they did for the kids on Scanrockdale.com, http://Scanrockdale.com. What a treat for the little kids to hear the Santa sighting. Thank you to the RCSO for a special Christmas treat."