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Newton Citizen Poll 3-15-08

"I went to the meeting for the Bear Creek Reservoir Thursday night. The first half of the meeting was very informative. Unfortunately, when it was time for the public to ask questions, all of the special interest groups took charge. You had one group who wanted Newton County to buy water from them ,which would be pumped from the South River, so they could make their fortune off of the county. Then there was a Jasper County commissioner who wants Newton County to use that same pump station so Newton County can bear the cost of getting that water to the Jasper County border. You remember that this is the same Jasper County who wanted to be a part of the Bear Creek Reservoir project but just didn't want to put up any of the money to build it. Why was this Jasper County commissioner at this meeting? He was afraid the reservoir would lower the property values on Jackson Lake, which would be of real concern to him since that is where his home is. This commissioner was given an editorial space in the Newton Citizen. He praises Fulton County for recycling their water but fails to mention what will happen to the South River when DeKalb County does the same and stops putting 40 mgd back into the river. I hope the Citizen will have someone do a rebuttal to his column. There was also a man who didn't want the reservoir built because he didn't want more people to move here. I'm sure glad he is not part of the Planning Commission. None of us would have water in the future. I could not believe all of the false accusations against Newton County officials in that meeting. When all was said and done, very few of us who had real and viable questions had a chance to speak. I have no special interests in this project, but I do believe it is a positive move for the county. And shame on everyone who spoke out solely to put on a show in front of our guests, the Corp of Engineers."

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"I have just finished reading the two articles that involved the police in Newton County, and would like to give a big giant 'thank you' to all of the officers that put their life on the line every day for us. Can you imagine, getting up and going to work (for pennies, should be dollars) every day and just not knowing if you are going to even make it home that night? I would also like to include all the firemen and women, paramedics and EMTs. I know you all do not get enough recognition or pay and you should! My family was involved in a situation last week and we had to call the Newton County sheriff's department. Two wonderful deputies showed up and turned a very volatile situation into a much calmer problem with solutions. Everyone in the process (from the non-emergency police number to the officers, to the District Attorney's Office (the next a.m.) and finally receiving a TPO were top notch and very informative. Once again, I would like to say 'thank you' and keep up the great work."

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"I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely people who gutted my heating and air unit outside my home and stole the parts. Thank you so much for allowing my two young children and my unborn child to freeze all night long. Thank you for instilling fear in my 4-year-old who is now scared to open his eyes. Also, thank you for knowing that in no way on Earth are we going to be able to afford to help ourselves. Thank you so much."

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"I read the letter printed about someone placing signs around Covington. I saw the signs on my ride to work. I laughed the rest of the way to work. The signs have received attention of parents being deadbeats!"

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"Kudos to the mom(s) who posted signs in the yard about the deadbeat dad(s). I, too, receive no child support for my two kids. Their dad lives in a very nice two-story home with all the comforts ... cable TV, Internet, new car. Meanwhile, his children and I live in a small, older home with terrible plumbing, a non-working stove, no Internet, no house phone, no cable, no medical insurance for any of us. I'm grateful for what we do have, I know there are a lot of people with much less. But is it fair for him to have luxury items while his kids are lacking on necessities? I work full time plus any overtime I can pick up to make ends meet. The legal system does nothing for us. I call my attorney at least a couple of times a week, with no return calls EVER. I missed my December car payment due to having to choose between X-mas gifts for my kids or my payment. Because my ex is on the loan as well, they notified him the payment wasn't made. Just to prove what a 'great' guy he is, he called the finance company and had my car repossessed. Our only source of transportation, my only way to work! To all you sorry parents who refuse to support your kids, shame on you. Maybe instead of signs in the yards these deadbeats should be wearing signs around their necks!"

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"To the (person) who thinks alcoholics should 'take a break' on Sundays: Do you really think alcoholics don't drink on Sundays just because it isn't for sale? I promise you that an alcoholic makes sure that he has enough 'poison' to get him through to Monday. What a ridiculous argument! Guns kill people, so why don't we make their use OK except on Sunday? The bottom line is this: Sunday is 'special' only because of religion. Laws are not supposed to be based on ANY religion. Therefore, since alcohol is a legal substance, it should also be legal on Sunday! If your particular religious beliefs prevent you from drinking alcohol, albeit on Sunday or any other day, then don't; but leave the rest of us alone, because we might need to drink in order to tolerate the likes of you!"

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"When I picked up the Newton Citizen this morning one of the front page headlines caught my eye. Good job city of Covington for making it possible for us to pay our power bill with credit/debit cards for $2.95. This brings me to another point - if the city can accept credit/debit cards for a fee of $2.95, why are we having to pay $10 to the tax office to use credit/debit cards to purchase our car tags and pay our property taxes? There is a difference of $7.05 in these amounts. Does this raise a question to anyone else but me? Something is not right in this equation. If the city can do this, why can't the tax office, and where is the $10 going people are forking out to pay their bills. Makes you wonder what is going on in our tax office and how our money is being handled."

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"After moving to Newton County a year ago and following the news of the county and the state of Georgia, I don't get it. The Newton commissioners seem to be operating in a total vacuum. This reservoir issue is the nail in the coffin. ... I think I am the typical newcomer to Newton and my feelings are that these sacred cows are no longer going to be tolerated by the voters. Meaning, commissioners, if you don't wake up soon, I know that I will be doing everything in my power to see you all gone, just as was the case in Jasper County with those commissioners who were supporting the Bear Creek Reservoir when there are better, less expensive - and more productive - sites available for our future drinking water."

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"I don't understand why the health inspectors rating local restaurants for health code violations don't have the authority to shut an establishment down when they have so many violations showing and a really low score - until that establishment proves themselves by making an effort to correct problems indicated and coming within safety guidelines. I also wonder why health inspectors don't inspect local supermarkets and delis for health violations. The produce section of some markets cut up and package fruit and vegetables for consumers' convenience in smaller packages, and I have doubts as to how clean and germ-free these areas are."

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"Seems the debate over the proposed Bear Creek Reservoir is heating up in light of the project moving forward. And rightfully so or not, a few important issues or questions remain unanswered and even some unasked. I remember years ago taxpayers were asked to approve SPLOST funding for another reservoir and approved the measure, which became Lake Varner. We were told it would surpass all of our needs and production would be 25 million gallons per day. Only with recent improvements have we now reached 20 million or so, and that is accomplished by pumping water from the Alcovy River to supplement the lake, almost 20 years after the fact. Which brings up my point in comparison to Bear Creek. Only a certain amount of water can be removed from the watershed based on downstream flows. Now Bear Creek is projected at 22 million gallons. If, and I did say if, a person took a drive down Henderson Mill Road and stood on the bridge overpassing Bear Creek, they would quickly learn there isn't 22 million gallons flowing in that creek on a daily basis. So how is 22 million gallons going to be withdrawn? Oh shucks, I forgot, the plan is to supplement the Bear Creek Reservoir with water from where? Yet again, the Alcovy River. And now the questions is, how many reservoirs can the Alcovy River supplement? It already replenishes Lake Varner and City Pond. Is South River the answer? That debate remains unanswered, for me at least, but I do know Bear Creek isn't."