The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Citizen newspapers. If you agree or disagree with something you read here, you may respond by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This week's poll was an open line.
"The city of Covington's storm water utility ordinance states 'bills for storm water utility services shall be mailed to property owners and shall be due and payable within 30 days after such mailing and shall be delinquent thereafter.' Now four years later, city officials have finally decided to do something about the 1,800 delinquent accounts of almost $700,000. They are going to waive any penalties and interest due. What a Cracker Jack bunch of people running the city! Well at least the good people who did pay their bills can hold their heads up. Every time they pass by city hall they can see the wonderful mud hole, uh, wetlands project they help pay ($130,000) for out of the city's storm water fund. You can even walk out on the raised boardwalk to view the beauty. Seems that the storm water utility collections would only be used to maintain the city's storm water system. Oh well, you know what happens when the government officials start spending your money. At least I see where fees are being reduced and new credits established. Has anyone received, seen a notice or credit? Well, maybe just the delinquent accounts. Last but not least - for the public education professional the city hired to meet stormwater program objectives, you forgot to educate people how to pay their fair share!"
"It is interesting to me that so many people say that the Barnes family had nothing to do with the death of Avery King. Who, if not the family, had the influence to stop Mr. Barnes from the actions he took? Who did he learn his values from? Who taught him to hate on the basis of color. Yes, racism does go both ways. So, why wasn't this charged as a hate crime? My sympathies go to the King family. ... "
"Really, not wanting to get a continuous comment started. But this response was so ridiculous due to the fact that officers of the law are supposed to be examples. As far as respect, I happen to have a family member who is a police officer in the area and consulted them prior to the article that was written. The reason I wrote in the first place was in hope that maybe this would be a wake up call for this detective taking advantage of Newton County. But appreciation cannot be expressed more than it is in our everyday lives now. But the law is the law and it isn't good for our community and is far from fair to the taxpayers. My family does this because they believe that they were called to this profession and it had not one thing to do with the pay, otherwise they would not be putting their lives out there daily. But neither would they speed or do personal errands in their car or on the clock. Shame on you for having the nerve to respond in such a childlike manner to a very serious situation."
"Thank you! Thank you! Covington City Council for not voting you an increase in salary at this time. Everyone knows you are doing extra work. Most everybody has doubled their workload. We appreciate the job you do even though we don't always agree with you."
"My comment today is if Spanish people can watch English TV and hit the SP button and hear it in Spanish. If I have to pay for four stations shouldn't I be able to have an ENG button to hear them in English? I mean, I am having to pay for it. They are sort of invading our country. Why don't they just learn English?"
"My comment today is for the restaurant owners. These health inspections and everything are really not for you, they are for the consumers who eat in your restaurants. My suggestion is if you can't keep your restaurants clean or healthy for people, then what you need to do is get into another business, maybe selling shoes, and close your restaurants. Most people from Newton eat in Conyers anyway."
"I was calling about the Lanny Barnes funeral protest. I ain't saying I would do that, but then I haven't had my family go through the turmoil that he caused these people to go through. The sad part about it, he was laughing when he done it. His family supported him in court, so I don't know if I would do that or not, but I hadn't walked a mile in their shoes either."
"I would like to comment on Obama's handling of the situation up in Massachusetts calling the policeman stupid for doing his job. If that is the best he can do with the problems we have in this country, I would like for the people who voted for him to stand up and take a bow."
"Where are the criticisms of Obama's constant absence from the White House? For eight years, President Bush was vilified, even if it was a weekend at his ranch in Texas. Obama has been on the road - here and overseas - constantly since he was sworn in just six months ago. Now, the Obama family will soon be on vacation at the $20 million, 28-acre property known as Blue Heron Farm in Hyannis Port. Just like most Americans, he wants the best value for his (our) dollar. Weekly rate at this 'farm'? Just $35,000 to $50,000."
"Stimulus plans, bail outs, layoffs, foreclosures is news every day. My complaint is the builders that leave their subcontractors holding the bag with thousands upon thousands of dollars, yet they still are buying new cars and trucks taking out-of-the-country trips. When are they going to be held accountable for the devastation they are inflicting on many families. You file liens only to be canceled by the foreclosure, you get judgments from the court but chance of collection (not guaranteed you will collect) is slim to none. There are good builders out there that pay their bills and do what is right, but when the bad ones are still living the good life while they beat money out of their subcontractors, it's just hard to digest."
"To the person who stated that 'it takes a village to raise a child:' That is such a load of garbage. It only takes a responsible parent who is willing to parent and guide a child. It takes hard work and effort on the part of parents. But todays parents of teenagers are so screwed up themselves that they are raising another generation of messed-up young adults. It is not the government's or the school's responsibility to raise my child, it is mine! It is not the job of 'the village' to raise my child. But since we live in a blame everyone and take no responsibility society, that stupid phrase, 'it takes a village,' just feeds the lazy and irresponsible mentality we now have in our society."
"Our literary giant 'Huck' who teaches history and other assorted tales needs to get his quotes right - It was not PT Barnum who said you can fool some of the people all of the time some part of the time etc. etc. - But Abe Lincoln - what else does he tell his students that isn't the real truth?"
"School has not even started and the system is already in question. I am referring to the supplies issue for students. We can download the supply list for each grade, way before school starts and get all of the items on the list with no problems. We then go to student orientation, Friday, before school starts and find out that there are many other times that are needed. What the heck? Then you got to the local Wal-Mart and there are 2,000 others trying to get the same items. Do they run out? Of course they do. Then if that is not enough, there are restrictions on the items. No mechanical pencils, no wheels on the book bags, etc. Come on BOE, get a clue and get it right! ... "
"To the lady walking her Yorkie on the grass of the Square Sunday, Aug. 2nd ... How about some common courtesy? Leaving your dog's waste behind is disrespectful towards others. Cleaning up after your animal is part of the responsibility of having a pet in the first place."
"Mark my words: the cash for clunkers program will do to the auto industry the same thing the ARMs did to the housing industry. If you are looking to buy a good used car, wait 18 months. There will be millions of repoed cars to chose from."
"It is very interesting to me that the same people that gripe about bicycles and hikers on the roads around this county are the same ones that are so against a multi-use trail here. This county needs some kind of outdoor activity that doesn't involve paying the recreation department hundreds of dollars ... I would like to see the railed that leaves Covington and eventually arrives in Shadydale someday turned into a multi-use trail. It's hard to imagine that spur could be profitable for anyone, much less safe for use as a railroad. Of course, I can already hear the opposition saying, 'We don't want that, that Silver Comet crime over here in Newton County!' Wake up people! The media only reports on the violence that happens to a few and not the hundreds that ride safe every day! How many criminals want to go hiking? They are lazy or else they would have a job and not do crime. Open your eyes and help develop something that this county can be proud of. Be part of the solution and not the problem!"
"This is in answer to the person that thinks it's time for the president to resign. I hope that they are either a Republican or independent because other than having voted for either of those parties you have no right to complain. The people that voted for Obama either have got exactly what they wanted because they are of not a sound mind, or they voted with their eyes closed, or like a good share of the people, they didn't pay attention to what he was saying. All a person had to do was listen and weigh the words. He is doing exactly what he said he was going to do, and I hold everyone that voted for him responsible to some extent for the future demise of this country that so many have given their lives for. This country as we knew it is gone. The good ol' days that many felt weren't so good, many will be wishing for them back. The only thing that we can do now is to pray that God will intervene. He is still and always will be the one with the final say."
"To the person who tells us to simply walk up to a deputy, place him under arrest and use his radio to call for backup on a citizen's arrest - have you lost your ever-loving mind? I am all for everyone being created equal, that includes our government employees; but there are more educated ways to express your dislike for their behavior. Also, it may help to ask them 'why the rush' before you ask for their handcuffs. Wow, I still can't believe you said that."
"When it's reported in the Citizen that a computer glitch has cost the county $3M and AJC reports on the same day that the feds are withholding transit grants because the Georgia DOT has mismanaged the handling of the funds, it makes me wonder why we employ people in positions for which they are minimally qualified. It seems to me we have to do a better job of selecting and training employees for such highly technical and complex positions."
Editors' note: The computer glitch that led to an overstatement of county tax revenue originated with a firm contracted by the county and not with any county employee.
"In reference to the person that stated that he should have a button to listen to the Spanish channels and you are paying for them. Well, in that case, just like you want Mexicans to learn English then if you really want to be able to understand those channels then you should learn Spanish. May I refresh your memory: Mexicans did not invade (as you called it) the U.S. If I can take you back to when you were in grade school you were taught about Christopher Columbus and when he first arrived to what is now America, who did he come across with? Yes, it was native Americans, the same color of skin as Mexicans. So again, who invaded who? Don't come up here that this is your country because - news flash - it's not ... I am very proud to live in a country that not only is it a home to Caucasian, blacks, Asian, Mexican and other ethnic groups. We have all become one, whether you like it or not."
"(An employee of a day care) was acting as self-appointed traffic cop. Stopped flow of traffic on Salem Road to let about 10 cars taking a left out of Smith Store Road onto Salem. Drivers are not supposed to stop traffic in the middle of a main road for no reason other than to let multiple cars from side road break into the flow of traffic. This type of traffic violation happens a lot at this location and causes a traffic jam from Publix to past Smith Store Road. It took 6 minutes to travel three-tenths of a mile. It is supposed to be a straight shot to the light at Publix with no stop signs or lights in between. I did call (the business) office to report the driver."
"When is Sheriff Brown and the sheriff's department ever going do something about the high rate of speed on Lower River Road? Today, the 5th of August, we had another fatality in the 1300 block. We have complained, they say they can't run radar, they can't do this, can't do that, but yet people continue to be killed, Lifeflighted. People are driving 30 mph over the speed limit, passing in a no-passing zone, passing on curves and everything. When is the engineering department ever going to do something about this road out here? They have to put speed bumps in. This is a dangerous road, especially for the people who live on it. We can't continue to have people killed on this road without someone doing something about it."
"I want to know what is the deal nowadays with girls painting their fingernails black? I want to tell you I had part of my finger cut off, and about four weeks later I went back to work. I had found a glove and my whole fingernail was gone and my finger nail was black, so what does that tell you? Think about it. Bill Clinton is the worst president we have had. ... "
"On the handicap parking, I see people parking in these spots with no sticker, no tags on the car. I would like to know if the police does anything about it."
"Wake Up America! It is time for another D-Day! 'Demand our voices of protest be heard!' We are not happy with what Obama and his congress are doing to us. I am a member of AARP, which until recently, I thought was a company interested in 'helping retired people.' I now feel sure the company has one goal in mind: Axing retired people. This is clear when we see them support Obama's idiotic health plan. All people 65 and over will be hurt if this bill is passed. Elderly will be an unknown word because no senior citizens will be allowed to receive the medical care they need and deserve. I have Medicare and joined AARP in order to get their supplemental and prescription coverages. Adding Medicare, supplemental and prescription premiums together, I am paying $301.25 per month. This, of course, has nothing to do with extended care, which costs a considerable amount yearly. If Obama's health plan goes through, I won't need extended care because I won't live long enough to get to that stage in life. Has anyone heard Obama mention extended care? They want everyone to have to take their ridiculous coverage, even though not one in Congress will be trading their great insurance coverage for the one we Americans will be forced to take. We are living in a time where action is required! We need to reclaim our country and our freedom. We need to speak out and take part in waking fellow Americans up! Please remember - the people serving in the U.S. Congress are not royalty, but public servants. They are supposed to work for us! They are nothing but part-time help that can be fired; it's called Election Day!"
"To the driver of the red/burgandy truck on Flat Shoals (near the fire house) at 10:30 on Thursday, Aug. 6th - do you feel as if you are more of a man for running over the turtle on the edge of the road? The same turtle that I had stopped my car for, and was walking back to help it cross safely? A strong man shows respect for nature and life. A weak one kills for humor and amusement. Which do you think you are now?"
"Thanks to our new sheriff! I did not vote for him but am pleased with his performance. Keep up the great work and you've got my vote for re-election."
"I am the one who wrote in from South Carolina. I was not saying Covington was a nasty place. I love Covington and Newton County. I only moved here because I could not find work there and found one here only after being here for a very short time. I am sorry if what I said upset you."
"Her Highness (Mayor Carter) is chomping at the bits for a raise and, according to her statements, she's determined she's going to get one at some point in the future. She refers to the fact the position has been at the same level of pay for 32 years as if she has served those 32 years. Fact is, she knew what the mayor's job paid before she ran for office and should be satisfied with what she's paid. However, if there is a problem, or she can't perform her duties, then there's always the option to resign. Which in this case may be the best option. The budget increases over the years as well as the surplus are irrelevant as comparison to salaries. If the best interest of the community is at heart, then elected public servants should forego any salaries and serve for the satisfaction of bettering the community and the prestige of service to the community."