This week's Newton Citizen Poll was an open line.
"My comment is I think burning in residential areas should be banned completely! I have a neighbor that burns nearly every day. Myself and other neighbors have called on this neighbor several times. The fire department just makes her put the fire out, then she starts right back up. We can't even enjoy cookouts or sitting outdoors or open the windows to let fresh air in when the weather is nice because of the horrible smoke. Not only this, but there are several older people that live in our neighborhood, including my mom, that has breathing problems. So the smoke endangers their lives. I've had to call EMS due to my mom not being able to breathe because of this neighbor. Newton County provides a landfill that people can haul away yard waste to and several substations all over the county. In fact, we live only a couple of miles from a substation. I just ask that people be considerate of their neighbors, or the county ban residential burning altogether!"
"I would like to see the city of Covington set up online bill payment for our utility bills. I pay everything online. It is much more convenient. The only bill I have to write a check for is the utility bill."
"Why does it have to take so long to hear back about the pre-K registration? Is it just to torment us and make us sweat it out? It's so not fair that not all the kids will get to go to pre-K."
"I certainly realize that he has had an unusually tough eight years. But I still believe that important promises by important elected government officials should be examined by the taxpaying citizens who elect them and pay them. On Sept. 17, 2001, President Bush promised to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice 'dead or alive.' Has anyone heard how he is coming along on that nearly seven-year-old promise?"
"My comment is to the person complaining about the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority building renovations: first off, when did improved customer service become something we wanted to complain about? Personally, I'm thrilled that NCWSA is concerned enough about the quality of customer service it gives to have heard the complaints of customers being crowded while paying their bills and to have done something about it. Secondly, correct me if I'm wrong, but NCWSA isn't a county entity or department at all. It's a privately run organization with a board completely separate from our county commissioners. I read the Citizen Poll almost weekly and I am constantly stunned by people's assumptions that are dressed up like facts."
"Everybody, please remember what I have been reminding everybody of - 'Don't re-elect anybody!' Don't let anybody who has already been in political office return to that public trough another time. The longer you let politicians stay at the public trough, the less they will feel like they have to represent you (instead of their own personal greedy interests). Please remember."
"Here's a little lesson in Sociology 101: Have y'all ever noticed that all the ultra-rich trust-fund folks and all the entertainment industry celebrities fall into two classes of people - Limousine Liberals and Champagne Socialists (Have y'all also noticed that one thing both those classes have in common is that they have all their wealth invested in tax-free bonds and never pay a cent in taxes? And, of course, their lawyers know how to pass all their wealth along to their children without paying a cent of taxes.)"
"Last Thursday someone came into my home and stole my Kodak Easy share Z7590 digital camera and printer dock (but left the paper tray, idiot!) I just wanted to let them know ... if they needed it so badly, they could have asked me instead of stealing it. Anyway ... if any of you honest citizens out there know the person I am talking about or know someone that just so happened to come into one in the last week, please tell him to return my items or call the Newton County Sheriff's Office. Thank you, honest citizens."
"I was a little surprised this morning when I received my Sunday Citizen. I believe they sent the front page from Newton County instead of Rockdale because we had a Relay for Life over at the horse park with a great number attending. Didn't see a thing in there on that, so I don't know if we had all the photographers down in Newton County or what took place. Just kinda wondering about it. Maybe they got the front page mixed up."
Editor's note: There is only one front page on Sunday as the Newton Citizen is a five-day-a-week paper, Tuesday through Saturday, and the Rockdale Citizen is six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday. The photo package on the front page Sunday featured photos of Relay for Life events in both Rockdale and Newton counties, although the lead photo was from Newton's event.
"I am a member of Eastridge Community Church and our pastor Rob Rainer has just resigned and I am very sorry to hear that, because Rob started that church in his home. There must have been a reason for him to leave, because I don't think he would have left his flock without a reason. I think the elders of the church owe it to the members to tell them the reason why, and the ones that are responsible for him leaving, they should ask for forgiveness."
I would like to comment on the timing of the traffic light at Dearing and the Bypass Road. It seems the trigger device is either not working or not being used. We have to sometimes sit for three to five minutes with no traffic coming either direction on the Bypass Road. It would be nice if the traffic department could recheck the light timing. Also, if the county could cut the grass so Dearing Road won't look so unsightly.
"The (Rockdale) Board of Education recently made an unwise approval of funds to purchase an SUV for the superintendent to drive. The current vehicle used by the superintendent has only 40,000 miles on it and is less than four years old. Why not require the superintendent to drive the current vehicle longer? The school system could then use these funds and hire a new teacher for the system instead. The rationale that the superintendent needed a larger SUV to transport his current cabinet around from school to school is hardly believable. First of all, not all of the superintendent cabinet members are based in the same office complex as the superintendent. Secondly, I cannot think of many times in the school settings when the entire cabinet would be arriving for a visit to the school. Thirdly, all of the cabinet members are either furnished with a school system car to drive or they are reimbursed for their travel expenses on a monthly basis. Economic times are difficult now; the perception this decision leaves in the mouths of taxpayers is a sour one. Why provide the superintendent with a gas-guzzling SUV to drive around town and to Atlanta? Most of us would be willing to drive our cars a little longer than 40,000 miles until economic times improve. The school board should have said drive the car you have a few more years and then maybe we will furnish you a new one or drive one of our retired buses around town to transport your cabinet."