The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions contributed by readers. This week's poll was an open line.
"I would just like to commend the Newton County Child Support office for their efforts in tracking down the deadbeat parents of this county ... I wish that the Rockdale County office could follow your lead and enforce the orders that are in place to ensure children receive the support they deserve ... Not one arrest in the Rockdale police blotter for non-payment of child support ... several in the Newton police blotter ... Thank you Newton County for looking after the children ... Shame on Rockdale County for neglecting their needs ..."
"I'm outraged with Newton Medical EMS. I have lived in this county for 52 years. I had to call 911 the other day for a real bad headache. I thought that maybe my blood pressure was elevated. I have a long history of blood pressure problems. I did not get transported by the ambulance that came to my aide. My blood pressure was OK and I decided that I could go to my doctor the next day. The crew told me that there was a fee that I would receive if I refused transport. I had to sign a bill for services that is not covered by my insurance. The charge is $75. Wow, what is my property tax going to? I feel this is unfair and double charging."
"To all of you downtown Covington supporters that fear that big box retail will hurt the Square - don't worry. People that shop the Square typically don't shop big box retailers, and people that shop in the Kmart and Targets of the world typically don't shop on the Square. So, it is not like they are actually going to overlap or anything. You guys are going to have your customers and the people who don't support the Square are going to have their big box retailers. Everybody wins."
"To all the Republicans - please don't assume that blacks are voting in large numbers just because Barack Obama is black. Trust me, if Hillary Clinton had won we would have been voting in large numbers for her. Eight years of Republican control is more than enough, look at where we are at because of it."
"I am calling about the recent resignation of Porterdale council member Kay Piper. I said good for you, Mrs. Piper, that is exactly what you should have done. You have been in office three years now and the city is broke and you haven't used any of that financial knowledge you seem so proud of to help the city at all. You claim that this year has been so full of turmoil, well new council members came in asking a lot of questions. You didn't like that because you didn't come up with it first. The questions that were asked should have had clear and honest answers but that did not. I think you are just mad because you didn't get your way, so you did the right thing by quitting. The only other thing you should have done is take the mayor and the city manager with you. Good for you."
"When will this racket of roof damage stop. Seems like everybody got a roof. Some probably legit, some not. Some people took the money and did nothing. Insurance companies should have wrote the checks to the companies that did the work. It is a shame that people do things like this, but they will."
"I would like to share my comments on the reduction of our police force, and fire personnel. I don't know about anyone else, but the crime in our county is scary! People getting robed in broad daylight, in the Wal-Mart parking lot, a lot of business robberies, and home invasions! I keep a gun my house loaded and safety off. Yes I have a gun permit even to carry on my persons and vehicle. I am not racial, but ever since DeKalb County started moving into our counties, our crime rate has gone out of control. I don't feel safe anywhere I go either shopping or doing other areas. Coming out and finding your car gone or broken into, our county needs to bring back our police personnel and our firemen. Road rage is also a problem! I was trying to leave the BB&T on 278 on a Friday at lunch time. I go out and down the small drive that comes out at the light onto 278. A lady was in front of me and decided she wanted to back up and go another way. She started using hand gestures and honking her horn for me to back up. There was another woman behind me. I had my windows open and my radio going and just threw up my hands like where do you want me to go? The next thing I know she gets out of her car and throws her hand in my face calling me a white b---- and get out of way. I told her to remove her hand from me and my car. I told her if she was in that much of a hurry to turn right and find another way to 278. She cussed me again and was waving her hand in my face. I then reached under my seat and pulled out my gun and set it on the dash and told her she needs to get back into her car and leave! She decided to get back in her car and turn right. The lady behind me started clapping. I have never had problems like this since I have lived in this county and Rockdale. It is sad when you don't feel comfortable where you live! I originally lived in Dahlonega, Ga. I told my husband I am ready to move back and go where you can feel safe again. May God have mercy on all of us."
"This county does not need a civic center. We need to stop trying to bring more people to Newton County and start worrying about the people who already live in Newton County. For instance, our children, the next generation of Newton County. For the past five years, we have traveled to various high schools throughout the state of Georgia. We are embarrassed when we return home to a 50-plus-year-old stadium and field house that is shared by three Newton County high schools. It is so small, some players have to get dressed/undressed outside, and that's just for one team. As a taxpayer I would gladly support this and feel it would be money well spent. Maybe some of these Tech and UGA fans should spend their energy getting behind our local programs instead of arguing about how much fan gear is sold at Wal-Mart - so maybe in the future we will see Newton County kids playing on these Tech and UGA teams."
"At the entrance to the Highlands of Haynes Creek subdivision on Mt. Zion Road is a sign along with reports stating that the wells are contaminated, with high levels of radiation. Could this be radon or a result of the closed Rockdale County Landfill on Miller Bottom Road leaking into Little Haynes Creek? Was radioactive material allowed to be dumped in the landfill? Hospital waste, etc? Is anyone monitoring the creek and checking the water for contamination? Should everyone with wells in the area around Haynes Creek have their wells tested for contamination? A lot of questions that need to be answered."
"Hey y'all, for every person that reads this poll could you pass the word to slow down a notch. I guess now because I'm a father I notice a lot more, even things that I may have done. Slow down in the parking lots of drive through, convenience stores, gas stations. People seem not to care who may be walking by. So please help to pass the word - slow down. And also please help keep in mind you as the driver can see someone trying to back out like on the Square. If you can please let us out. It is really a pain because the way the parking is, you can't see around the curbs. Thank y'all."
"Is it OK to sit back and watch a kitten be twirled by the tail in the air by a child, while the parents watch? Well, if you see it, don't report it to the Newton County Animal Shelter! They passed the buck off to the juvenile system! They wouldn't even go to the abuser's residence and talk to them about it! What kind of system do we live in? It is not my job to go to the juvenile system, if anything the parents should be put away for condoning such acts of violence! Wake up Newton County, animals have rights too, even if you don't care!"
"Obama is president. Boy, I feel sick."
"I am extremely disappointed in the voters of Newton County. You obviously did not take the time to inform yourselves about the political record and personal associations of the candidates and, now, our economy will suffer for years to come."
"Before you Republicans start complaining, just remember it is your own fault. You guys are the ones who elected Bush twice."
"A Democratic Newton County from the bottom of my heart thank you George Bush. It is more because of you than Barack Obama. You messed the country up so bad we didn't have a choice but to make a change."
"I would like to express my outrage over the way the news media has handled the campaign coverage this year. Well, from the very beginning you can very well tell they are all biased toward Barack Obama. They have done nothing but give John McCain and Sarah Palin a hard time and very little news media coverage. I think it is an outrage that they can't handle both parties and let them have equal time and equal comments. They have not been fair at all and fair is fair regardless if it is a Democrat or Republican. I personally will never listen to Channel 2 in the evenings with Charlie Gibson again nor will I listen to Channel 11."
"I have a comment about the Georgia-Florida game on Saturday. High Five. After the way they conducted themselves last year they deserved every point that was scored against them."
"I don't know if Charter TV is running a test or not but on the local station Channel 8, they have had three music as a background over the last couple of months. They have had mute, country and opera, but to me two of them sound alike. That is the opera and the mute."
"I went to bed Tuesday feeling a bit sad that my candidate did not get elected president, but vowed that since Obama was now my president I would give him my support as leader of our country. Much the same way that I did for President Clinton. Wednesday afternoon I was discussing where the Republican Party might need to go for a new direction, one of my black American co-workers informed me that the reason I didn't vote for Obama was because he didn't look like me! I just want to let everyone know that the (R) on the ballot stands for Republican not Racist. People have long voted for a candidate because he represented their party. Unfortunately, these are the type of knuckleheads that keep racism alive and going in this country."
"In the Sunday Citizen, you had a headline on the front page about three men arrested in connection with robberies in Rockdale. On the same page, in the bottom right hand corner, you mentioned that the Food Pantry in Newton has to close due to lack of donations. The Pantry director, Rosalee Thompson, says this marks only the second time the pantry has been empty in her more than 20 years there. Their neighbor, FaithWorks, is also struggling. I would like to know why this story was not the headline instead of the robbers. People that break the law are locked up and receive three meals a day so they have no need to worry where there next meal is coming from. But law abiding people, who have fallen on hard times, sometimes need a helping hand. No one in this wonderful country of ours should have to go hungry. We all need to step up to help the Food Pantry and FaithWorks. Our family is going to; how about yours? For more information on donations, call the Food Pantry at 770-784-0037 and 770-784-1884 for FaithWorks. Thank you."
"The city council has just passed the dumbest, most dangerous ordinance ever to come before them. The golf cart ordinance will, no doubt, slow normal traffic and cause accidents that will always be the 'fault' of the automobile driver."
"I seriously question the wisdom of our city council when one of the members declares the golf cart ordinance as one of the greatest improvements he's ever seen to the quality of life in Covington! I was hoping that was a tongue-in-cheek comment, but it wasn't. It would be interesting to know who the big lobbyists for this ordinance were and what stake they have in its passing. Are they wealthy homeowners near downtown? Are they elderly or disabled people who are unable to drive but would like to use alternative means to get around? Regardless, having golf carts on the same streets as cars and trucks spells disaster for traffic flow. It won't improve traffic flow due to fewer vehicles being on the street, as Mr. Dalton professed. It will slow things down because cars will be held up by the slower golf carts. And you're just asking for accidents and lawsuits! These golf carts are not safety tested to the same standards as automobiles, and for obvious reasons! They're not meant to be driven on public roads! As for improving the quality of life in Covington, I have some real suggestions: 1) Improve our existing parks that cannot currently be used because of safety concerns. Whether this means including security personnel in the budget or extra lighting, it would be worth it to have accessible parks for families to use. 2) Add to the extracurricular resources available for students after school. This could mean extra ball fields, expanded library services, etc. 3) Bring some quality restaurants to Covington. People here want to eat in Covington instead of having to drive to Conyers or Lithonia, but the small selection of non-fastfood restaurants in Covington doesn't help (especially when you're trying to find one that consistently scores well on health ratings!). All of these suggestions would accomplish the goal heralded by Mr. Dalton. It's not golf cart usage that's going to encourage community participation and neighborly encounters."
"Thanks to the Powers That Be who decided to install the 'bumper strips' (I don't know the proper name for them) on Highway 81 at Salem Road and again at Crowell Road. Gosh, I didn't know we needed to slow down there! As if traffic is not always backed up well behind those strips! Come on, Powers! Let's fix the real problem at both of these intersections!"