The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions from Citizen readers. This week's poll was an open line.
"This is in response to the comment made in the Aug. 30 poll. The lottery does buy a lot and puts a lot of money into our school systems such as ... computers ... . You are stating that when your child started to school everything was furnished. Well, first that was the greatest mistake ever made. When my children went to school we had to buy their books and everything, nothing was furnished. My kids appreciated it and appreciated their education. The children are given crayons, scissors etc. at the beginning of the school year and by the end of the first week they don't have them any longer, they have taken them home or they have thrown them away. As far as Kleenex and sanitizers, all children don't bring them but most of the children who use the most hand sanitizer and the most Kleenex are those children who never bring any. Teachers have a hard enough time making a living on what they make and so many of them put so much of their own money back in to the school. I believe if you would put some money into your child's education you would be a better parent."
"I wish we had a farmers market in Newton County! Why do we have to buy produce from California and other far away states. A well-organized farmers market, and not those fruit stands on the side of the roads!"
"I am replying to the person who was complaining about people smoking in front of store and restaurants. I agree with you; I can't stand to be entering a store or restaurant and I feel like I'm walking into an ash tray! They have ash trays in front of the store entrances. Like that is going to make a difference. I have had cancer and I don't need to be around that stuff! Second-hand smoke can be just as bad my doctor says. It makes you not want to eat or buy food. Sometimes my clothes smell like I have been smoking. I have a question and maybe someone could answer it. Is there not a law that was put into place that you are not allowed to smoke within 50 feet of a public place?"
"I am commenting on the Citizen Poll about opening up new restaurants. I also would like to know why they are building all these places for stores to move into, and if you drive around Newton and Rockdale there a lot of places where shops and restaurants have closed down. Why can't we use these facilities instead of putting more concrete in the counties? Look at all the new houses that are half built or can't be sold. Look at all the homes for sale. With the economy right now it sounds like a bad idea. Also it would mean more crime, which I am sick and tired of hearing about. I don't feel safe in my home. Several homes in my subdivision have been robbed, had bricks thrown through windows and cars being torn up. Why don't we try to get more police in counties for all the trouble in the counties instead of building more shops. I would not want to come into the county as a business owner considering all the robberies in the county. Just a comment from a Newton County citizen. I bet there are a lot more of you out there that feel the same way!"
"OK, well it is time that city of Covington explain all these extra charges on our power bills! We should have the option to stay with city of Covington or go to another power company. We are outside of city limits so why make us use city of Covington?I thank the extra they charge us must be paying the employees' power bills or their salary ... This needs to be looked into because we need answers. A few people I have heard say they was calling the news people up to Covington to check it out since they can't give us answers."
"Last week, a reader commented that they saw a Newton County school bus speeding down 278, going 70 to 75 miles an hour. Let me tell you, that is a virtual impossibility! School buses are 'governed' at a certain speed, which they are not able to exceed. Sorry, there is no way the bus on 278 was going 70 to 75 miles an hour! Seems no one minds bad mouthing bus drivers, when one out of many makes a mistake ... and I will give you this, a mistake that should not be made at all. (i.e. - a driver ticketed for speeding). Does anyone stop to take the time to look at the good things the bus drivers do? When no one is at your child's stop to meet your child when the bus arrives in the afternoon, who is it that takes care of your child ... often making a second attempt to see if someone is at home before returning your child to the school? Who is it that radios the bus shop when they see you broken down on the side of the road, or when they see an accident on the roadways? When your child is upset at the loss of a family pet, or worse yet at the loss of a family member ... who dries their tears when they get on the bus? Who handles a special needs child with all the TLC they have in their hearts? There are so many acts of kindness performed by Newton County bus drivers, yet a large portion of them go unnoticed, with not so much as a thank you for a job well done! I'm sure that once in a while, your child's bus driver would like to hear something positive about their efforts, instead of you bashing all bus drivers for the bad decisions of a few!"
"I have two preteen daughters, and I am considered a soccer mom. I would like to commend the Fairview teacher who believes that after-school sports do not enhance a child's grades. One of my girls played sports last year at the YMCA and the other one at Turner Lake. They were not allowed to play this year, because their grades slipped. I did notice one thing strange. The cars at the YMCA had many achievement type decals on the bumpers such as: 'My child made the honor roll,' or 'My child was student of the month.' I didn't see any of these type decals at Turner Lake."
"I was calling about the comment in the Citizen Poll on the Sept. 6 edition about Wal-Mart displays so much Georgia stuff and the paper covers so much Georgia stuff. I agree with them 100 percent. I think it is discrimination if you ask me. I wish Tech would slap a lawsuit on them for not displaying their stuff."
Editor's note: We can't speak for Wal-Mart, but news coverage of the Georgia Bulldogs has been more prevalent this season due to the fact that the Bulldogs were ranked pre-season No. 1 in the country in several polls and are currently ranked No. 2 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll. Tech is not ranked in the top 25 in either poll.
"I would like to make a comment about the Sept. 6th poll. This fellow seems to have a problem going in to Wal-Mart and finding all the University of Georgia crap. Well you know what he can do - not go into Wal-Mart and he could move."
"Porterdale Budget crisis ... It was reported this week that two employees would be laid off and hours were being cut in light of the budget crisis. Tom Fox stated that employees that were issued cell phones would also have those services cut, and 'Every employee has to sacrifice a little for the city.' Which raises the question: Did the council members also give up the city-issued cell phone/direct connect service they receive at taxpayer expense?"
Editor's note: According to City Manager Tom Fox, cell phone service for City Council members was also eliminated as part of the city's budget cuts.
"As a bus driver I know all about disrupting kids and I know how many times they have to be asked to be quiet and sit down. I, however, want to voice my complaint on a complete different matter - the transportation office staff and their lack of support. When we board our buses to go on our routes, we expect that the transportation department is there for our back up. But when we call them on the radio they take up to 10 minutes to answer, if they answer at all. This is not a rare occurrence on their part. I have witnessed the staff ignoring phone calls and the radio, talking on personal cell phones about their concern about their horses while the office phone is ringing off the hook. When we call it can be for a number of reasons, from getting directions to a sick child on the bus or even a serious accident. There are even times when the staff calls drivers on their Nextels to get in touch with them instead of calling them on the radio, then after the drivers answer, the staff jokingly says 'why are you talking on your phone?' Everyone knows using your cell while driving the bus is against the rules. One more communication issue I want to address is that when a driver rule is being changed, shouldn't a memo be put in everyone's box instead in addition to broadcasting it over the radio once expecting everyone to hear it?"
"As a resident of Newton County, I would like to know why the county is allowing students from external counties to attend our schools? The parents of these students do not work for the government or county. I guess it is acceptable for our resident taxpayers to pay school taxes for these parents. Go figure."
"Here we go again. I'm with the councilman who says forgo the interior designer for the city of Covington. Does Mayor Kim Carter believe she has an open checkbook with money that does not belong to her? Decorating the ceiling with fancy light fixtures is not a priority. Since the city of Covington has soooo much money, I think those that pay city taxes demand a tax reduction. What a waste!"
"I am calling to comment about the front page of the Newton Citizen on Saturday, Sept. 6. The employee of Mamie's Kitchen. I can't believe someone is working in a restaurant without any gloves or hair net on. I wonder what is Mamie's Kitchen food rating?"
"All right, my rebuttal is for the 'Uh Oh and that Porterdale faces a $200,000 budget shortfall and everybody is going to be thinking that Porterdale is going to be a speed trap.' Well, I am not a resident of Porterdale, but I do know the Police Department on a personal level and I can guarantee everybody that Chief Digby will not tolerate any kind of speed traps or harassment of people. If your children are not buckled or you are weaving, and if you do have burned-out head lights and tail lights, then you should be ticketed. However, my faith in the Porterdale Police Department is that, I really believe if you were pulled over for a head light or tail light out, I really believe the good people at the Porterdale Police Department would give you a warning, how your reactions at that point of time are during the traffic stop means a lot. Just remain respectful and I understand that there are other things going on in the city like collecting past due water bills, collecting past due garbage bills. New businesses coming up, there are other ways to do this other then blaming everything on law enforcement. I really do not see Chief Digby tolerating such behavior and the police officers in Porterdale have been really good to me and my family. They are real people and they get up and go to work putting their lives in danger to protect us day in and day out. I am not in law enforcement and I am not affiliated with the Police Department any way, shape or form, but I know these guys. They are police officers; they are not children; they don't play games."
"To the person that doesn't like all of the UGA items at Wal-Mart: Apparently UGA items sell. Bottom line."