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Newton Citizen Poll 7/5/2008

"I've read several times in the Citizen that money has been allocated for a new library in the Oak Hill community. Where is this new library to be located, and how soon?"

Editor's note: According to information from the Newton County Library previously published in the Citizen, the new library is expected to be completed by January 2010 and will be built on Ga. Highway 212, near Oak Hill Elementary School.

"Ignorance is bliss when it comes to blaming local officials for rising property taxes. Our property taxes are set by the state, not Newton County. Now why would our property taxes go up? Hmm ... the land around our property has gone up and affects our little piece of Americana. Now, we can look at this two ways. Our homes, which are our biggest investments, we want to appreciate. Now, if you feel that your home has not gone up in value and is over-inflated, thank your local real estate slick willies for driving up land and property prices in their endeavor to make a quick buck flipping land."

"On the western side of Newton County we have observed over-development of homes and businesses in the last 15 years as we have strived to maintain the character of Newton County only to be ignored and disappointed too many times to count. Not to mention the percentage of crimes that are occurring on the west side of the county. Now we have numerous vacant homes, vacant businesses, foreclosures, rentals and unfinished subdivisions. It is disturbing for us now to notice that many of our candidates running for Newton County district commissioners and chairman are somehow involved in the area of development, real estate or other professions that could profit greatly by being in a position to ensure them that zoning requests or other business matters are approved promptly. This might not always be the best decision for the welfare of the county citizens. Please, as you go to the polls, we ask all Newton County citizens to look at each candidate very closely and ask yourself is he running for the good of the overall county or for his own personal agenda and well being. Please print this before the primary."

"Don't you think July 4 weekend is an excellent time to reflect on American History? Do any of you Citizen Poll readers remember learning in American history class that everyone who does not remember history is doomed to repeat its mistakes? For example, let us remember some 'Hollywood actors' who knew a thing or two about politics and politicians ... aside from the fact that Clint Eastwood was a very successful mayor of a California city larger than Covington, does anyone recall that Hollywood actor, President Ronald Reagan? You know, one of the best eight-year modern-day presidents? Sure, you know, the actor who overturned Communism in Soviet Russia and cleaned up President Carter's four-year mess? Now, that actor knew a little about politics and politicians, too. And, oh yes, how about that Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger? You remember, the present governor of the most populous state in America who seems to be doing a pretty fair job of managing the most 'difficult' of all the states! Happy Independence Day, history scholars!"

"Today I opened my city of Covington utility bill to find my PCA (Power Cost Adjustment) charge is a whopping $19, and this is from only using 854 kilowatt hours this month! Does everyone realize that if you figure in all charges and divide it out, we are all paying close to 11 cents per kilowatt hour? Don't you find this absolutely ridiculous? I can accept the fact with today's economic situation most companies must add on some type of adjustment due to rising fuel costs, and so I have no problem with this. But what I cannot understand is why the city thinks it has to charge so much more than anyone else. I know for a fact that other utilities' fuel cost adjustments are 1/3 of what this is, so why is the city so high?"

"I really don't know who I am going to vote to be the next sheriff of Newton County. I am puzzled as to why Sheriff (Joe) Nichols has not endorsed any of the sheriff candidates. I recently talked with someone about all the candidates running for sheriff. In my opinion, they are all equally qualified. My friend made a valid point as to how I should select the candidate I plan to vote for. He told me 'don't vote for the one who has the most name recognition, political signs or best financed campaign as they and/or their friends are trying to buy the position.' Vote for the sheriff candidate who does not have name recognition, a lot of political signs, and has a campaign shoestring budget because he has not been corrupted by political contributions nor is he trying to buy the position. Since they are all equally qualified, I like that approach. I plan to vote for a candidate whose name I do not recognize."

"Every late afternoon around 5:15 to 5:30 I have seen a green Jeep with a Newton County emblem entering Walton County. I have a few questions for the Newton County commissioners. What is this vehicle used for? Why is this person in Walton County this time every day? This Jeep does not appear to be an emergency vehicle; it appears to be used for someone's personal use. As a taxpayer in Newton County, I have a problem paying taxes for someone who lives out of county driving a county vehicle to Walton County every day. I really think that the Newton County commissioners need to investigate and take care of this matter. After all, it would save us taxpayers a tremendous amount of money in a year. Every little bit of money saved helps our county."

"My comment today is about Charter TV - their motto is 'Get Charter and get hooked.' Shouldn't it read 'Get Charter and Get Crooked'?"

"I would like to comment on rising gas prices. I do believe there is a lot of abuse on county vehicles with the supervisors driving the work vehicles home that are not needed. I feel that they should drive their personal vehicle just like an ordinary person does. The local county government officials should investigate and find out why supervisors are driving their county vehicles home that are not needed. I feel this is a big, big waste of taxpayers money."

"The Newborn mayor and council's excuses for not honoring the contract between Newborn, Mansfield, and Newton County for fire station No. 6 are pitiful. It is clear as a bell they wanted a fire station but didn't want to pay for it. What is this nonsense about not having money to pay the town lawyer to attend council meetings, which according to the town ordinances he is to attend each meeting. Last time I saw Mayor Cummings, he was bragging about all the money Newborn has this year."

"I was calling about so many people getting run over. You know like you can be rude and think you own the mall or something like that and not get out of somebody's way, but when you start facing a car, that is a horse of a different color. Them cars don't play, and nobody owns the road, so the best thing to do is if you are on foot, stay out of them."

"Last night, our commissioners had a chance to do the right thing and correct the major flaws in the county employees' retirement program. But once again they chose to do their 'Election Year Dog and Pony' show, which consisted of a lot of 'lip service' and nothing more. I feel sorry for the hard-working county employees who have had much taken away from them in the past few years and given nothing in return. Do not be surprised in the near future to see many vacancies in critical areas such as law enforcement and fire protection, because these people will have gone to other counties who actually want to retain good employees by giving them a decent retirement program. But take heart people, election time is near, and hopefully the people elected will not try to run this county as it was 25 years ago!"

"This is in response to the news article 'County sees slew of auto break-ins': If the county wants to get something done about the break-ins, their attitude doesn't need to be so nonchalant. When my daughter's car was recently broken into, the officer said to her 'you have full insurance coverage don't you?' They did not offer to take finger prints without one of us calling and complaining about a felony being committed and asking why they didn't take finger prints. A few years ago my home was broken into and the attitude was the same. It took one good sheriff's investigator to finally bring the perpetrators to justice ... . This was after my home was broken into the second time! The first time the first investigators did absolutely nothing except to tell me it was probably just kids! And the second break-in was committed by the same perpetrators! What the police see as 'simple crimes' should be treated more seriously in this county!"

"It was nice to see our incumbent board of commissioners members stop by and visit the poll last week. Surely you could have done better than dig up something good you all did three years ago? Well, judging by the current state of the county and the terrible infrastructure, maybe that is the best they can come up with. Oh wait, maybe they can call in this week talking about the wonderful empty county offices and the beautiful parking deck. Then the new mayor can chime the following week with how beautiful her new office is going to look to higher government officials. When is enough going to be enough with these clowns?"