The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line.
"Regarding the Newton County theme school. As a parent of a middle school student currently in private school, we would love to save the $7,000 per year we pay for private school (not to mention what we already pay in school property tax for public school). We were very excited about the theme school ... then learned that there would be no minimum academic requirements and a child with any disciplinary actions in the past would be accepted. Parental involvement was the only "new' condition for the new theme schools vs the regular public schools. Theme schools should be for students with academic achievement and with good behavior. Establishing a school of excellence should have some minimums. I have talked to many other parents who felt the same and declined to pursue the Newton County "theme school.' Get it right and many parents would be interested."
"Does anybody else feel poor old Darrell Huckaby has lost it? His rants about Yankees and Democrats have just about taken over his life. How sad to have so much ill feelings about certain people. The old saying, "Paranoia will destroy you,' may apply here."
"I just read in the Friday, March 27th, edition of the paper that Barcode and the other zebra died en route to the zoo in Missouri ... I am crushed and deeply saddened by this! Both those zebras had a happy, caring home until those college kids decided to do that stupid immature prank! I hope this is a lesson to people. People need to realize that what you do has consequences. To the kids who did that prank with Barcode, I hope you realize that your ... actions caused those people to lose their precious animals and then eventually cost the animals their lives ... was that prank that funny? Are you laughing now? I hope you never forget what you've done."
Editor's note: It has not been officially determined who carried out the prank involving Barcode at Seney Hall on the Oxford College campus.
"To the person who's against retail development, maybe you don't know it but the sales tax dollars generated by commercial business helps keep your property taxes lower than what they would be without those sales tax dollars and to offset low sales tax dollars which helps the city and county provide us with the services that we need they will raise your taxes and when that happens let's see how quickly your tone changes towards something which can help lower them. And our population has gotten too big to say we don't need our own places to shop."
"To the person that complained about those of us clamoring for more retail development, let's be clear about something: I along with the majority of the local population have no problem taking our money to Rockdale and DeKalb to the stores that we're actually interested in shopping at. People like you want us to pay these mom and pop stores sky-high prices all the while they offer limited selection on what they have in stock. Based on how small SPLOST collections always are, you would think that you and the local leadership would get the message that the majority of us are in favor of national retail chains. The residents will shop locally when we get the kind of stores that we want. No sooner, no later. Now gripe about that. One more thing - I love the Citizen Poll."
"My observations why it's hard to back out of parking on the Square. First, the yield sign only requires a complete stop if traffic is oncoming. Many people stop with no cars coming, backing traffic up. Second, vehicles getting into the outer lane to go from Washington Street to West Clark in front of the courthouse. If these vehicles stayed closer to the physical Square (inner circle) until once past (church Street) it would help keep traffic flowing. Third, people turn right on red at both lights entering the Square although it's prohibited, adding to the congestion. Fourth, the stop sign in front of the bank is treated as a yield sign - more congestion. Start obeying/enforcing the laws around the Square and impatient drivers may start acting with more courtesy no matter what geographic location they come from."
"Who is responsible for letting the Historic Jail continue to deteriorate? This money for restoration was secured years ago in a bond in advance of collection of the SPLOST revenues. Where is this money? Other projects, which have much less importance and can wait, like planting flowers and wasting time on a walking trail should be on the back burner and projects already funded and in need of completion should be focused upon. Has the person responsible for this unwarranted delay of the restoration of the old jail been terminated? Give me one reason why they should not be! The press needs to look into this situation. Where is the money? Who is responsible? Why is there no schedule for completion? Are we going to fix this problem or are we just going to sit around talking about it? A Really Concerned Citizen."
"When the Bush administration came into power eight years ago, there was a surplus on the books. Shortly after taking office, we began having a deficit. This was blamed on the war. It has been a known fact that much of the money going to Iraq was not being used for its intended use but was going into the pockets of unscrupulous contractors. Our boys who were fighting to bring democracy to Iraq were being slaughtered while contractors reaped the benefits. Then, as the country went further in debt, the taxpayers had to start bailing out the banks and auto industry. Billions of dollars were dumped into banks and the auto industry as CEOs still collected their big bonuses and salaries. In order to make it look like they were doing something, they began to lay people off. Now we have so many unemployed they began to lose their homes. The new administration is trying to turn this around but as I predicted, the new administration has been in office 50-plus days and the Republicans are crying that Obama is sending us to the poorhouse. I guess they forgot how much money they gave away to be squandered. The money he is spending is to try and take us out of this recession and give jobs back to the people. I am afraid that our Congress has reached the point where their main concern is getting re-elected and not getting all of their perks they can get before they do have to leave their little money-making machine. Please Congress, start working for those people who pay your salary and not those who lobby for favors. Quit snuggling up to the wealthy businessmen whom you are hoping to get a job with when your term is up. We are using the taxpayers money to bail out those greedy lobbyists and CEOs. The middle class are who have worked all their lives to be able to retire and live comfortably, and now we see our retirement slowly being drained away without spending any of it but it seems to be going to the fat cats. This includes our Congress who has forgotten the first batch of the taxpayers dollars that was squandered but didn't give up their yearly raise that they call COL. Where I used to work, if I didn't do the job, I got fired. It seems like today, if you don't do your job, you get a raise and a bonus. Some of the congressmen said they didn't take the raise or gave it to charity. I'd like to see a list of those people."
""When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.' - Sinclair Lewis (Fascism - a governmental system, led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.)"
"$1.8 million for trails. What a waste of federal money in these tough economic times. That money could be put to better use by keeping nurses in the schools, keeping the library open on Saturday, trash places open at 7 a.m., paving deteriorating roads. This would benefit the whole community, not just a portion of it."
"After reading the article about rails and trails transforming our rail lines into trails for walking, I noticed something about a tunnel that was going to be built. I might suggest a sky walk rather that a tunnel. Reason being the cost effectiveness of such a venture. To burrow you have to have lots of concrete and rebar in the structure to hold the earth up, with a sky bridge you have to have concrete and chain link fence. Might be a good idea to look into it and maybe cost effective since it hasn't been built yet."
"This is in response to the Newton County Library being closed on Saturday. What ... ? Really. That is the only day I can go to the library. I attend school in Rockdale County and I cannot get home till 4 or 4:30 by the time I get home and finish my homework it is around 7. Why are they closing Saturday? Close on a weekday. Try a Monday. Give them Sunday and Monday off, but do not close on Saturday. That is a stupid idea."
"I am calling in regards to the comment about Nancy Pelosi. The person felt that Nancy Pelosi was entitled to have $60 million spent for an airplane and that it was fine that she got a $3,000 pay raise and $94,000 in raises for her personal and office expenses. I think it is outrageous. Everyone else is struggling, people are without a job they don't know where their next meal is coming from and the stimulus package is nothing but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid's their telling Obama and apparently Obama is listening to them. I think it is outrageous that she wants this at this time. Newt Gingrich, when he was speaker of the House, he actually took commercial flights and this lady, just because she is a woman and she is third in line, Newt Gingrich was third in line so what is the difference. I forgot she is a Democrat, Newt was a Republican."
"I was calling about the Black Caucus walking out on the floor of the Capitol protesting because of Barack Obama thing. I don't know what kind of president he is going to be. I think the jury is still out on that and as far as him being such a great leader and all that stuff, I don't think he has had a chance to let everybody know what kind of a leader he is. All I know the last eight years George W. Bush has caught it from this one, that one and their sister and brother. I never heard no racism about that."
"I was calling in regard to the Obama supporter and the comment that they were ignorant. I am an Obama supporter and I would like for your readers to know I am not ignorant; the ignorant ones are the ones who think Obama put us in this situation that we find ourselves in at this time. He could not have done that since he has only been in office for a couple of months, so therefore don't blame him for the situation we are in. Let's support him and help all of us get out of this current situation."
"Response to the "positive things about the proposed walking trail:' You live in another county so sure you would love for us to spend our tax dollars to build and to perpetually maintain it. And as for the vagrants, crime and dope deals that will be an integral part of the trails. "Hey, yeah let's build it as long as it isn't in my backyard.' Keep dreaming. Newton County has lots of money and our politicians have so much time on their hands that we can do anything we "want' (not "need') right now because we don't have a recession. Keep dreaming. And how much longer do we have to wait for the huge holes you have to drive off the right of way on our road to get around to be repaired?"
"Welcome all of you obvious newcomers to Newton County. In case you don't know, this is a very large rural county with sprawled development. We are primarily suited for farm lands, dairies and manufacturing plants. We love our open air, not-so-developed land here. If we wanted all the big chain stores, we'd move to our neighboring counties that have them. You may do the same if that is such a priority to you. But, there's a catch ... you'll probably pay higher property taxes! The reason most of you are drawn to live here simply is the bottom line of being cheap. I would be curious if you lived here, yet work and shop outside the county which is only hurting yourself (especially shopping elsewhere). You want the best of both worlds without paying anything for it. Have you ever heard the saying "Good, Fast, and Cheap - pick any two'? I'm sure there are a few handfuls of appreciative newcomers that moved here and understand the hometown values that Newton County offers. Sure, it's not perfect by any means, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Be grateful instead of hateful!"
"For the record, all the money that is wasted with non-professionals to try and lure new industry to Newton County, why not do what the successful cities and businesses do? After being in business and industry for many years, the answer is pretty simple. Take all the money that is (presently wasted) allocated for these purposes and hire a Madison Avenue Public Relations Firm ... hey, that is a proven solution that really works! Are we going to solve this problem or are we just going to sit around talking about it. Or we can continue to do what the other unsuccessful counties do ... as I learned from my successful parents, "If you want to make a lot of money, watch the poor people and don't do what they do!'"
"Now that Charter cable TV has officially filed bankruptcy, maybe it is time for all us Newton County sufferers to sponsor an appreciation day to officially thank former Mayor Ramsey and his intelligent City Council members for doing such a wonderful job selecting Charter as their buyer of our cable TV system. Have y'all noticed how much downtime and poor quality reception we have had recently? However, bankrupt companies don't usually spend much money on maintenance and repairs, do they? Remember the maintenance and repair troubles the bankrupt airlines had awhile back? (Does anyone know if Rockdale's Comcast cable TV will serve us Newton County sufferers?)"
"This is from the "ignorant' Obama supporter: If you want to label someone as "ignorant,' perhaps you should look in a mirror. You also might want to consider taking a remedial reading class, since you apparently didn't comprehend my previous comment. Again, the rich make the most money so they should be paying the "vast majority of taxes'! And guess what genius? Just because they are, doesn't mean they're paying their fair share in proportion to their incomes and to what the rest of us pay! If you're so rich that it affects you that much, then you should thank your lucky stars and stop insulting those of us who are trying to make ends meet while watching the rich jump through loopholes."
"This is in response to the need for help with pet vaccines. Tractor Supply hosts a Low Cost Pet Vaccinations once a month through Animal Health Services (1-888-680-7387). They will be there April 18 from 12:30 - 2 p.m. www.animalhealth.cc"
"I just want to say when is it acceptable for a single-wide trailer to be placed next to a home in a neighborhood. After all their trees are cut down to make room, and apparently they did not even know it was there! Ha! It's ridiculous that I have to look at that eyesore every day, and it's making my property value decrease. ... Keep Newton County beautiful!
"I'd like to get away from politics for a change and talk about television. I am beginning to think that it won't be long before we will be having 15 minutes of commercials for every five minutes of program. On top of that, the pop-up commercials sometimes obliterate what you are trying to see. I know that commercials are, where are so many of the old, old shows? I really like them, but enough. Get some new stuff. Oh, I forgot. They do have some new stuff. There are Neanderthals who beat each other to death. I know there are many people who love this, but does it really have to be all over the TV? Then there is the sporting world. I do believe that the networks would show a Tiddly Wink tournament if there was nothing else on. I know there are some people who will sit in front of the TV all day if there is some kind of sport on. I like sports, but I don't want to be inundated with the programs. Now let's take the infomercials. I believe about one-third of the programs are infomercials. I don't pay to see infomercials; I pay to see programs. Of course, there are the new programs with the pretty young things that do not have any talent at all except to stroll around in clothes that are only half there and they giggle a lot. I don't mind looking at these girls if they had some talent. Of course, violence seems to be the main theme. They seem to think that blood and guts spewing out are the key to a good show. Acting is really the theme of a good show. I know anyone reading this is thinking, "Why doesn't he turn the idiot box off?' I do except for the Discovery channel, PBS and channels like that. The trouble is, I pay for all the other junk. How sad."
"As myself and family were watching the news this evening we all - from elementary age on up - became very upset. It was reported on the evening news that the veterans hospital in Milledgeville will be closed due to the lack of funding. I have just one question for the citizens: What is more important for our government to be funding at this critical time in our local economies? Hiking trails to be purchased from train tracks, built and then left for us to maintain, or the men and women that served for our nation to be taken care of in their time of need. After all they did to protect and serve us. Do we not even owe them the right to be able to have the necessities when they have reached the point that they need the government to repay them for their service. I really feel that there is a real imbalance in the stimulus program when you see the priorities that were set."