The Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line.
"I am writing in response to the 12/6 comment regarding how Georgians treat their pets. First of all, I take offense to being lumped into a category with someone just because we happen to live in the same state. In case you haven't noticed, stereotyping is a big no-no these days. Yes, your neighbor should be ashamed for neglecting the dog, and it saddens me to know that some people just don't take the responsibility of owning a pet seriously. However, I have a cat and dog that are pretty much spoiled more than my children. As I sit here and type this response, my baby Chihuahua is wrapped up in her own blanket, enjoying a warm fire that was built just because she likes watching it burn. After getting a phone call that my house was on fire, the only thing I could think as I raced home was 'God please let them save my cat.' I am a responsible pet owner. My furry friends see the vet for their scheduled vaccinations, they are not allowed to roam outside, and I don't even let them poop in the neighbor's yard. So you see my friend, you might want to take a look at the whole picture before you jump to conclusions. Not everyone is like your neighbor. Another idea would be this ... if you're that unhappy and disgusted here in Georgia, go back to the Sunshine State where things might seem a little brighter for you."
"I moved to Covington about 10 years ago. I love it; however, I am getting concerned about all the crime and drug problems in Covington. Recently, when I visited my hometown, which has the same demographics as Covington, I was surprised to learn that, although they have the same demographics, the crime and drug problem are half of what it is here in Covington. ... I hope that Sheriff-Elect Brown will keep true to his campaign promise and, in addition to addressing the crime and drug problems in the county, will address the crime and drug problems in the city of Covington."
"I hope this holiday season that people instill the real reason we celebrate Christmas to their children and let them know we are celebrating Christ our Saviour's birth and not some jolly fat guy in a red suit who gives away toys."
"Hey, what's going on with the Bear Creek project? That would be the perfect place for an indoor pool. Heck, must of our taxes are going there and when you want to go see it you can't without and appointment because the gate is always locked."
"To the person wondering why Oak Hill has a low health score, it's probably for the same reason employee morale there is low ... : employees are continually told by the county office they must make complaints 'up the chain of command' ... "
"Please anyone leaving the Wachovia bank on Hwy. 278, please turn right instead of attempting to make a left and holding up traffic in the tiny parking lot. There are many options with turning right and making a slight detour to get where you are going. Also, people traveling on Hwy. 278 near Wachovia, please leave space when stopping for the red light (at Elm St./Hwy 278) for cars to get in and out of the parking lot. Many times, people are on their cell phones and don't even pay attention, they block the entrance/exit to the bank so no one can budge either way."
"This comment is directed to the poller who lamented the 'Elite Media Stories' about President-elect Barack Obama. People like you are part of the problem in this country. You vote Republican because you're part of the Old South, by God, and it would be a sin to do otherwise - at least in your ... mind. If you took a look at the various maps of voting patterns (and these were available in both 'elite' media markets and in more down-to-earth publications that the rest of us subscribe to), you saw that a wide electorate is responsible for electing Barack Obama: women, men, young, old, black, white, educated and not. People in this country are ready for change, and ready for a more transparent government, which is why Barack Obama is taking the extra steps needed to ensure that on Jan. 20, 2009, he will have a smooth transition to the White House with an intact cabinet and staff. Various Republican pundits and politicians have praised Obama's selections, which include men and women from various ethnic groups. In a time when this country is in such dire financial circumstances, when people are losing their jobs, when everyone is looking for something different (which is, ironically,something we should expect from our governing officials), people like you have to be negative, just waiting for the new president's first mistake. I'm sure there will be plenty of mistakes, but after eight years of George W. Bush and his failed policies that did nothing to prevent the current crisis (even if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's problems began during the Clinton administration), Jan. 20th will mean a new beginning. Perhaps you could find it in your little red Republican heart to contribute positively to the discussion, instead of masking your racism and hatred with commentary about the 'elite' media's love affair with Barack Obama. Grow up!"
"Keep smiling, Mayor Carter! Maybe the card table and chairs will be decorated. Congratulations to the four council members who had the nerve to vote against it. Economy is too bad to squabble over this issue. Please think of the homeless adults and children in this city and county. You probably could have continued with the furniture at hand until after the first of the year. May God bless all of us in the coming year."
"No doubt there will be gleeful comments over the latest 'sofa gate' twist at City Hall, from small-minded folks who personalized this from the beginning and missed the big picture. For my part, I am embarrassed and disappointed by the actions of City Council members Howard, Dalton, Goodman, and Williams on Monday night. Meaning no disrespect to our good neighbors to the west ... is Covington now the next Porterdale? What possible purpose was served in bickering over a $23,688 expense in a $130 million budget? The council was unprofessional, at best, to solicit competitive bids, hire a professional, and then walk away from the process having spent $5,000 with no alternate game plan to get the job done. Apparently, the four opposing council members and others in this 'poll' don't understand this ... But, industry, commercial businesses, and federal/state grants pay the bills in our city. Keep acting like Po-Dunk USA, especially in a down economy, and we're going to lose one of these major industries. And then, God help the taxpayers the council says they want to protect!"
"If you contact a roofer to put a new roof on your house and he shows up in a 20-year-old truck that's all beaten up and his business card is bent and soiled, are you going to trust him with the job? That's what the city faces when potential businesses come to the mayor's office. They see old, run-down furniture that certainly does not make a good impression. The building itself is not impressive ... at the very least the office can be. Those on the City Council who voted against it are short-sighted and reacting to anonymous entries in the Citizen Poll, which in itself is a disservice to those who are attacked, especially those in service to the city and county."
"I was calling about the parades Friday night in Porterdale and Saturday in Covington. We enjoyed both of them, we thought they were carried out real good especially the one in Porterdale. I am from Porterdale and you know if you lived there a long time you have a little bit of Porterdale pride. I felt real good about it."
"Calling about the Porterdale Christmas festivities they had. I tried to get into Porterdale to view the festivities I arrived at about quarter till 6. I couldn't get in because they had the road blocked leading in. I was finally able to get into Porterdale at 6:45 and it was all over by the time I got in. I think that is poor planning on Porterdale's part."
"This is in response to the Citizen Poll on Saturday, Dec. 6, and someone wrote with the economy being in a recession I see all of you Wal-Mart-haters have been very quiet as of late. We are forgetting about local businesses in our community. Wal-Mart is nationwide, is cookie cutter. We have shops that have been here that are trying to make it in this recession. Shops ... that have unique items that are part of our Newton County and part of our South. ... I think we should spend a few of our spare - and they are spare - dollars this Christmas on our local businesses. Support local business. That is the only way we are going to make it in this economy."
"It's me again; I got some good news for all you Georgia fans. Wal-Mart will be having a sidewalk sale getting rid of all that Georgia (stuff) they got left over. That means y'all will have more fans to wear that (stuff)."
"Thank you Eastside High School football coach. What a great mug shot. You have totally embarrassed our county, our school and our kids that were part of your program. How can we expect our kids to do right when their leaders fail miserably."
"I am calling from Social Circle. This is in reference to for the last five or six years all we could hear about is - I am a Georgia Tech fan - and all I can keep hearing about is 'How About them Bulldogs.' Well, now that Tech beat Georgia I don't get any phone calls. Nobody doesn't say anything about the game. What happened to the Bulldogs. The word for them is 'How About them Yellow Jackets'. Buzz ... Buzz."
"I just want to say that I am appalled about an incident at a church this Sunday night. A beautiful Christmas service and a teenage boy sat on the same pew as us and when the lights were low he was using his phone for texting messages. It was terrible to see even with adults on both sides of him did not say anything to him. I did touch the lady's arm and I said 'Does he have to do that?' She looked like a grandmother, and she said 'I don't know.' But he did put the phone away. I think it is terrible that technology has affected the youth so much they can't even take one hour out of their time to worship the Lord and also for not paying attention to a beautiful church service. Even in the post office and the doctor's office you have to turn off your cell phone. I don't know what this world is coming to when they are almost attached to their arm a cell phone."
"Obama says 'he will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We'll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we'll set a simple rule - use it or lose it. If a state doesn't act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they'll lose the money.' With that announcement Georgia cities are lining up and with all the improvements needed in Newton County the county commissioners should be camped out on Pennsylvania Avenue with their hands out. Test that statement. Free money! (not!) There's no excuse for not making road improvements now. Widening Salem Road from the county line all the way to Hwy. 81, don't stop at Smith Store, take it all the way and get it over with. Intersection improvements at Hwy. 212 - Ga 20 and Brown Bridge. Divide (limited left turns) and widen Hwy 278 through town to the Hwy. 142 intersection out past the Alcovy River. Widen Brown Bridge Road from Turner Lake to Hwy. 212. Widen Hwy. 36 South from the bypass to Lackey Road, Re-align Henderson Mill Road and install traffic lights at Flat Shoals, Henderson Mill and Hwy. 213. Intersection and widening improvements to Hwy. 81 South through Porterdale. Widen the Bypass to four lanes all the way around. Install turning lanes and traffic lights at the Hwy. 278/11 intersection. Build that new bridge and connector road at the non-exitable bridge between Almon and Salem Roads that will supposedly align with Smith Store Road. Re-align Kirkland Road from the hilltop behind Neely's restaurant along the power line right of way to intersect with River Road and install traffic lights. All these projects should be ongoing at once. OH, maybe the city of Covington should go too. They can apply for some golf cart road money. Or at least funds to install traffic lights at Turner Lake and Washington Street and widening Turner Lake Road without a round about at Clark. We have one of those already, it's called the Square. I wonder if the mayor could get some office renovation money too?"
"Looks like someone is throwing a little temper tantrum over not getting her way on office renovations. Carter said, 'Mr. Horton and Mr. Grotheer, could you guys maybe get me a card table and four chairs and move that old desk back in there and I'll just sit on that?' That's sounds like an excellent idea Mayor, the best one you've come up with yet. She wants a desk chair costing $989.60 plus an additional $540 for leather, for a total cost of $1,529.60; a sofa at $1,181 plus $2,144.18 for fabric, for a total cost of $3,325.18; two toss pillows at $80 plus $246 for fabric, for a total cost of $326; and two side table lamps for $800, bringing those items to $5980.78 which doesn't include end tables, a coffee table, two club chairs, a Queen Anne Chair, a desk lamp, a mirror, art and other accessories, a computer desk and hutch, a lateral file and lateral file hutch and a lamp table which brings the grand total to $22,688.30. I'm sure the furnishings for that office could be purchased from any local store for a third of the prices we're seeing on this list. Several local office supply stores have very nice executive desk chairs for under $300. The taxpayers elected a mayor, not a queen, so nothing is royal concerning a place to sit. Carter also said remodeling the office is key to the city's economic development, adding it's vital to make a good impression when other officials and industry and business representatives come to call. In that regard I've often been told; 'The clothes don't make the man, the man makes the clothes.' Maybe that doesn't apply to women, but no one is beating down the mayor's door looking to place an industry here. Carter went on to say she's holding meetings at the Chamber of Commerce, which she said before all this started. Seems if that location works, there's no need for a playhouse at City Hall. Keep meeting there. As far as a cost for those furnishings, $5,000 should more than cover the bill. And a special 'thanks' to Councilmembers Howard, Goodman, Williams and Dalton for opposing this purchase. In these dire economic times, with municipalities, county, state and even the federal government on the verge of bankruptcy, if Mayor Carter is embarrassed by how the office appears, maybe a resignation would be in order."
"I've heard it said over the past week or so that capitalism has died in Newton County now. Maybe that's an overstatement, but it did take a substantial hit when the Board of Commissioners voted against allowing certain businesses to be operated from private residences. Those would be day care providers and hair salons. They did this in the name of protecting us, the citizens, from ourselves. To the contrary, they did it to further the agenda of limited rights of private ownership of property and the exclusive right to use that property. The BOC continues to whittle away the taxpayers rights while the taxpayer sits by the wayside and does nothing. I ask, when is enough enough? When will the 'they are gunna do what they to anyway' mentality die and when are people going to stand up and protest? This is an infringement upon basic Constitutional rights to use your property any way you see fit, and these BOC members are taking those rights away. Does that bother anyone besides me? This county is slowly extending its dictatorship authority to the point that you will someday have to ask for permission to install a satellite TV dish or antenna on your private residence. Are you, the citizens and taxpayers of this county, going to sit idle while that happens?"