Newton Citizen Poll 12/20/2008

The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line.

"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 council members 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 want 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?"

"Why doesn't the city of Covington enforce the law. It is against the law to sell alcohol on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. I witnessed people buying at (two different stores). Doesn't anybody patrol this?"

"OK, Tech fans, you have ran your mouth enough. You won, congrats, but what about the last seven years. I guess you win once a decade is a big deal. Well 'How 'bout them Dawgs?' If you can't run with the big dog, just stay on the porch, in your case the bee hive. Gooooo Dawgs ... "

"For all you people who are sitting on your throne of judgment against the Eastside football coach, we have a legal system that states 'innocence until proven guilty.' The book that I read, also states the following - speck. Jesus used the word in his parable about self-righteous people who looked for specks of dust in the eyes of other people while ignoring entire planks - logs or beams of wood - in their own eyes. He was referring to the hypocrisy of a person who tries to improve others while remaining blind to his own faults- Luke 6:41-42."

"Thanks Coach Hurst for taking our boys farther than they have ever been in the state playoffs. We think you have done a tremendous job since coming to Eastside. Thanks for the countless hours you and your staff spend on the program at Eastside. Guilty or innocent, that really doesn't matter to us, everyone makes mistakes. The book that I read says 'let the one who has not sinned throw the first stone' John 8:7"

"Why in the heck have they changed the music on the local Covington info channel (channel 8)? Yesterday I was trying to read through the announcements and had to 'mute' my TV because it sounded like Hispanic rap music. Thinking (and hoping) it was a mistake I checked back several times during the day, but it was the same awful stuff every time I turned it on. Please give us back our easy listening American/Christmas music so we don't have to suffer through this nonsense just to get our local information. I don't know who made this decision but it's horrible and totally offensive, please change it!"

"I am on a fixed income but my health benefits, grocery bill, prescriptions, taxes and everything else is going up. I wonder if I might be able to tap in to my tax money that our government is handing out to the big guys?"

"I was calling about the Brian Nichols case. I have no problem with him not getting the death penalty, but at the same time I feel like if he didn't deserve it who does?"

"My comment today is I feel we got the right man for the presidency, but they keep saying he is Afro American. Isn't he just as much an English American or Irish American or whatever his mama was as he is an Afro American. I think he is a good man, and I think he will make a good president. I am just concerned they all think he is Afro American which really he is not he is both, he is American is what we should say. He wasn't born in Africa."

"I am calling in reference to a green Jeep with a Newton county emblem entering Walton County every day still about 5:15 to 5:30. I have addressed this situation in the past; however, the present Board of Commissioners chose to ignore the situation. I am very hopeful that the new Board of Commissioners will put a stop to this nonsense with the economy being the way that it is there is no sense in someone having special privileges over everyone else. I have to use my own hard-earned money to go back and forth to work. I feel this person should do the same. I hope the new Board of Commissioners will look at this situation and try to save us the taxpayers money."

"I know there is a lot concern about the crime rate in the city of Covington. I know they bought some new Segways, but how are they going to use these Segways to reduce crime in the city? Has the city of Covington leaders ever considered creating performance safety standards for the Covington Police Department? I've never seen any on their Web site. Also, maybe we should look to the creativity of other law enforcement agencies to solve our city crime problem. I know that in the state of Florida, in an effort to keep their Police Departments effective, most cities elect their chief of police. Maybe the city should explore the election of a chief of police rather than an appointment. If the elected chief is ineffective, he/she gets voted out of office."

"Will someone for the Newton Medical Center please explain what is going on with their operation. A front page article in the Dec. 6th issue of the Newton Citizen stated that a planned expansion of the emergency department had been postponed due to tough economic times. I went to the emergency room about a month ago. I was told after an hour wait that I would have to wait another five hours for treatment. During six hours a patient could drive to Alabama or South Carolina and receive treatment and return home in less time than the Newton Medical's wait. For many months cable TV stations have carried hundreds of costly advertising ads from Newton Medical Center. Local newspapers have also carried many costly ads. Why wasn't this money more wisely spent to expand an overflowing emergency room. A sick or injured person doesn't need a costly advertisement to tell them to go to a hospital. No one seems to know who owns the hospital or if there is an elected official to voice complaints."

"Last week a pollster had the following comments; 'industry, commercial businesses, and federal/state grants pay the bills in our city.' You know, it seems I've read those same comments in print not long ago. Wonder who made them? At any rate, in regards to the first, Economics 101 - every industry and commercial business operating in Covington is owned by an individual or group of individuals that pay those taxes. People just like you that get up every day and put their pants on one leg at a time. These people take many risks struggling to survive, work long hours, provide jobs and valuable services to the community. Those taxes are passed on to the consumer or end user, most who are also taxpayers in the city and county. Many would be shocked to know how much tax they actually pay, but as an example, a friend who owns a small shopping center and convenience store paid over $200,000 last year in property tax alone. And in a down economy with many spaces sitting vacant, he had to borrow the money. Like I said, these are real people taking huge risks and gambling on the economy just to survive. As far as federal/state grants I would ask, where does the federal and state governments get that revenue? Will Santa drop off trillions at Christmas? Do us a favor, find a payroll check stub and take a look at the deductions. You should see an item called 'Income Tax.' That's your money paying those so-called free grants."

"The pollster said; 'Keep acting like Po-Dunk USA, especially in a down economy, and we're going to lose one of these major industries.' You know, those folks down at City Hall keep mentioning these million dollar deal breakers in the -sofagate' arguments, but in case others haven't noticed, or have forgotten, we have a 2,500-acre industrial park sitting empty for over 10 years. Just vacant land that placed unnecessary debt and tax burdens on every citizen in the county. How many business and corporate leaders are lined up at City Hall or the county offices, chomping at the bits to purchase a tract in that park? None! No one. We were promised great rewards for such a venture, instead West Point, Ga., gets a $3 billion car plant that will provide over 2,600 jobs and Covington gets a cardboard warehouse that may provide nine. Amazing isn't it? Does anyone besides me ever wonder why business doesn't want to locate here? Could mismanagement have anything to do with it? Refer to 'sofagate' as the most recent living example. But who knows, maybe we'll get lucky, we could use another fried chicken or hamburger place on 278."