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.
"Why is Newton County attempting to give the Chamber of Commerce a $66,500 raise on their budget, when Newton County says they can't pay their employees for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I'm not saying that as a citizen I know all the concessions and the order but, when you take from Peter to pay Paul, something is not right. I do know that Newton County has taken 15 holidays (paid) from the county employees. I wish the county would consider the fact that the people that work in this county would more than likely be spending that pay that was taken from them locally, so why does the Chamber need the money to drum up business. Pay who you have and let them buy local!"
"Bella my pet, I just wanted to let you know I love you. I am sorry I let you go to a new home since you were so scared. I have not been the same since. Dad was home with you for 10 months while he was laid off but when he went to try truck driving I sensed you may not like being by yourself so much. I tried to visit you so I can see if you are adjusting, but the new people won't let me see you. Hopefully they will return you if you continue to be shy and scared, which is what they said they would do when they left with you. It seems they think that I was being cruel by trying to find a stay-at-home mom for you, but you and I know the truth. Freddie has been looking for you and I tell him you are well. I'm glad the new people care about dogs, and I pray they learn to care about people, too. Merry Christmas, Mom."
"Hallelujah! We finally have our traffic signals at Ga. 20, Highway 212 and Brown Bridge Road! These signals cut at least 10 minutes from my ride home each evening! Now, if they can just set up the signaling that only turns the light red if there is traffic coming from CVS or Highway 212 in the mornings, so that traffic can flow smoothly. Why turn the light red making us stop when there are no cars at the intersection?"
"I would like to know why the Newton County school board allows the Newton County High School band to dance that way? The Christmas Parade was wonderful all except Newton County High School show. That is embarrassing that we allow that in schools but not prayer ... Come on community, let's at least try to make things better for our students."
"I am solely against giving any taxpayer money to our Chamber of Commerce. IRS 501(c) 6 regulations plainly state that a 'chamber of commerce usually is composed of the merchants and traders of a city.' They are designed for trade purposes and exist as a private (type) dues-paying organization. We have a state of Georgia industry and trade, and the city of Covington has an industry coordinator. There is no compelling reason to give the Chamber a dime. The question should be asked: What is the Chamber now accomplishing, and what has it accomplished? The Chamber cannot take credit for the industry we do have. Industry flocked to Covington because of cheap labor, tax breaks and cheap land, the I-20 corridor, and Georgia being a 'right to work' state. Industry is all along the I-20 corridor. This is synonymous with the industry and growth that followed railroad construction in the 1800s. During the past several years our county has lost jobs, industry and retail establishments. The local Chamber appears to me to be no more than a 'feel good party type-club' for its members. The Chamber should take care of its merchants and leave acquisition of industry to the city and county."
"Congratulations to 2009-2010 Eastside football team for a great season. You guys overcame adversity and criticism. Several times Eastside was the underdog, but you were the top dog when the game ended. Sometimes Eastside was smaller than their opponents in size, but they had something other teams lack -- heart and determination. The lesson learned: 'It is not how you started the season but how you finished.' Always believe in yourself when others say you can't you show them you can. To the fans -- no matter at home or on the road games, you filled the stadium. I enjoyed the love the parents, former players and friends showed Eastside. Thanks to Eastside coaching staff for a job well done. To Eastside's coaches and players, you are our champion."
"Thanks for providing a forum for the frustrated teachers of Newton County to vent regarding the ongoing difficulties of covering classes for colleagues who are absent or opening their doors to students from those classes (filling their rooms to the limit). I hope that when you report standardized test scores on the front page of your paper this spring, community members will remember that, in many cases, support staff was not used to give at-risk students the extra help they need and deserve. They were busy covering absent teachers' classes. Classroom teachers were adjusting plans to accommodate an influx of students who may or may not have come from a class teaching the same subject matter. Ms. Viniard's job is to spin information from the school system in the most positive light possible. In fact, there is nothing positive about this situation!"
"To the citizens of Newton, Walton, and Social Circle, please do not allow a drag strip to come to our area. The noise pollution and congestion will ruin our nice, quiet little town. A drag strip will not bring much revenue and very little jobs to our area, and it will end up being a nuisance that we will not be able to get rid of. Property values will decline. Please go out and keep this drag strip from coming in!"
"I was at the local QT today when an officer of our Newton County Sheriff's Office Department parked and went in the store. ... as a child I was taught to respect our police, but here lately it is hard to because they don't respect themselves. Some let their bodies go so to the point they are endangering their own lives. In a shootout they couldn't hide behind a tree or a car. Some are so big they couldn't chase someone on foot. So it does create a bad situation on their part. I know the county pays medical insurance on them. It is probably very high due to the overweight ones. A friend of mine got pulled over on I-20 a while back. She said the deputy had to let the window down and reach on the car to pull himself out to come up to her car. That is bad. I was told the city police had to meet a physical test every month. So, maybe the county needs to lease the old Covington Athletic Club now that it is closed down. The deputies could get some good use out of the club maybe by starting a Biggest Loser on the sheriff's force or to get all fast food restaurants not to give discounts to deputies."
"I believe you can continue to throw money at economic development and keep funding the Chamber of Commerce and it will do no good until our county commissioners realize that we have no affordable housing in this community. You cannot have workers making $30,000 a year able to quality for $180,000 houses without using sub-prime loans. ... No major company is going to pay every worker the amount of money equivalent to about $60,000 per worker so that they could qualify for a $180,000 house. No company is going to pay that to any worker unless it is a manager or above. So, the people who do the real work have no chance of finding a house, and believe me these major companies look at those kinds of things."