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Newton Citizen Poll 2/14/2009

The Citizen Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments may be edited for space or content. To reach the Citizen Poll, call 770-787-7303, ext. 1349, or e-mail poll@newtoncitizen.com between Monday and 8 a.m. Thursday.

This week's poll was an open line.

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"Wise up parents! We have a chance to make a difference in our kids' lives ... yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions right now. That is why they are creating this kind of school - so we can make those choices! The original deadline was Feb. 6th, but they are extending the deadline until Feb. 20th for those who are 'on the fence.' Give it a year; if you do not like it go back to the school you are zoned for. I love the school my children currently attend, but I would rather a more 'privatized' approach with higher quality projects and learning for my children. My children do not qualify for the Quest programs, but I know my children have a greater potential if they are trained at a young age. Hop on the train and do not let your children get left behind any longer! Let's train our children on an individual approach instead of a mass approach. If you can afford to pay for private schooling for your children - that is great! But, I cannot and I know this program will succeed if given the ample opportunity!"

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"What a tacky picture of the young men who signed with various colleges! The youth today have so few role models to look up to and now their own peers are pictured in the newspaper posing like thugs and gangsta rappers."

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"I wish all of Newton County would follow suit with Porterdale's animal control law. It is cruel for people to let their dogs bark all day. Maybe they should have to stay home and listen to them, like I do."

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"Re: Animal control ordinance gets final OK. We lived in S.C. and they passed a similar ordinance some years ago. It was a joke and people got fed up! Seems either they did not register or if pressed to register they just dumped animals off at Animal Control. Animal Control required additional funding. The council members were voted out of office next election cycle. Guvmint gone wrong!"

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"I don't have a problem with a new private school in the county. Not sure I think the location is so great ... remember the church school. I do have a problem with one selling point being 'it will bring 80 jobs to Newton County.' How many Newton County teachers are out of work? Beyond that, how many 'jobs' do you think it will really bring? I certainly would rather see a manufacturing plant, warehouse or large retail come to Newton that would really bring jobs. So what is my point - please be honest. Sell the school on the need for private as opposed to government education, not on the basis of the number of jobs it will bring."

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"I am wondering why they are saying that we had growth in 2008. I don't see it. When I drive through Covington all I see are empty buildings just sitting there and more businesses closing their doors. As a small business owner myself, I am barely hanging on. There is also nothing to do here. As a mother, I am really getting tired of having to travel to another county to find something for my kids to do. Maybe whoever owns all these empty buildings such as 84 Lumber, the old Wal-Mart, etc., could find it in their hearts to open up a movie theater, a skating rink, maybe some kind of entertainment complex that would give the citizens of Covington something to do closer to home. We are spending all of our money in Rockdale, Gwinnett and Henry counties and while they are thriving Newton County is dying. And please tell me why we need a convention center in Covington? If there is nothing here to do, who's going to want to come here?"

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"I was nice enough to let a woman exiting Wachovia get onto Highway 278 at lunch time and she didn't even nod her head or wave to show appreciation and as she got in front of me I saw why ... she had a New York tag on back of her car. When you Northerners move here just remember you need to adapt to our ways not the other way around. And the pollster defending Newton County not having a theater is probably someone from the Chamber of Commerce. ... Rockdale sends people to shopping center conventions to recruit business to locate there and I have no problem shopping there."

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"In another stroke of brilliance, the Newton County Board of Commissioners, facing a $5.3 million deficit, has decided to spend $500,000 to condemn property of the Emmett Denby family and evict them from their home. What is the problem? Simple. The county is in serious financial trouble already and the property won't be needed for at least 20 years if ever. After more than 10 years of trying to get a construction permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, there is no permit to build the reservoir at Bear Creek ... "

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"To the person who wrote about their 16-year-old that knows everything yet knows nothing: When you find a good home for her and a puppy, let me know as I too have a 15-year-old girl that mirrors all you stated. And the school system cares very little. We also need a puppy."

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"Thank you Charter Communications! You increased Cable TV and took away Channel 6. On Basic Cable that only leaves a very few channels of decent TV to watch. Three Spanish-speaking channels that I don't understand, two church channels, channel 6, 8, 13, 20, 22 and 91 are public service type or city of Covington information channels, channel 23 is TV Guide channel. I'd be better off using an indoor/outdoor antenna with my converter box and pay zero for Cable TV. What a crock."

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"For some reason my city of Covington utility bills keep increasing and I know we've not used any more gas/electricity than before. Each month goes up another $20 to $25 per month. We keep burning more wood in the fireplace to help keep costs down but it doesn't seem to work. I wonder if filing a complaint with the Georgia Public Service Commission would bring forth an investigation. The meters have been changed so the meter reader does not have to get out of their truck anymore - they just aim a radar zapper to supposedly get a more accurate reading. Not!"

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"Covington Mayor and Council got their last raise in 1977. In 1980 they added cable television to their responsibilities. 2007 they sold the cable system. Why do they need a raise to direct fewer departments than before? It seems a pay cut would be more appropriate."

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"If our federal government would give $1 million tax-free to each taxpaying citizen, it would need no oversight or administration and could mean:

1. Mortgages could be paid off, homes bought, rent paid

2. Car loans paid, cars bought, insured

3. Average folks could increase savings, invest, put children through post secondary education

4. Small businesses could start up, buy equipment, materials, hire employees

5. Fired folks could re-train/educate and have time to do so

6. Citizens could afford more goods and services

7. Rich folks could give to charities, invest

8. Most Americans would feel good about themselves and economy

9. Trickle-down effect of so many people spending money would infuse the economy, stock market."

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"I think Cobb County has it all figured out. With hard economic times and spiraling expenses, they've started processing paperwork to have 900 illegal immigrant inmates deported to their homeland. Can you just imagine how much money our counties and the state of Georgia could save by doing the same thing?"

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"I am responding to the article on the front page of the Newton Citizen dated Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009. 'Council considers pay raise;' compare that to the article on the Newton Citizen on Feb. 5th front page 'Departments asked to cut budgets.' Mayor and council, shame on you. A little money is better than no job and no money. Wrong time to be asking for a raise. Be thankful for what you have and pray for those that are losing their jobs."

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"This is a complaint. I was going through Social Circle yesterday and I noticed the main traffic light going into the post office does not have a turn signal. Please see if Social Circle can get a turn signal on their traffic light."

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"I was just reading the council considers pay raise. I am astonished that as soon as you get a Democrat in office they want to raise their pay. Fifty percent - that is unbelievable. These people went into office knowing full well what the salaries were, and now they want to give themselves a 50 percent pay raise in these hard economic times we are having. I would have enjoyed a 50 percent pay raise at any time in my career; however, they need to understand putting in there that no one has had a pay raise in 32 years. If they think everybody is so stupid that we don't understand these people were just elected to the offices they need to reevaluate what they are doing here. It will be the last time I ever vote for a Democrat."

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"As I am sitting here looking at the Eastside (athletes) on the front page of Thursday's paper, I have to wonder what is going through the coach's mind and what is going through the school administrators' mind. As I am looking at these young (people) sitting here that are supposed to be star athletes, with the T-shirt that I believe is probably inappropriate for school and the signs that several of them are making, I just find it totally appalling as a taxpayer and a citizen of Newton County. I believe something should be done about this."

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"I was astonished when I got my last Thursday's paper with the picture of the Eastside athletes on signing day. If they did not how to act in public I would not have ran the picture. I am embarrassed for them and their families that they acted this way. Why didn't the coach say something to them? This was a very important day in their lives signing for a scholarship to play football, something they should be appreciative for and gracious acting, not everyone gets to go to college. For them to act like they are at a gang meeting is totally uncalled for. I would have refused to take their picture, much less put it on the front page of the newspaper."

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"The loose pet problem in Newton county is becoming a serious problem. At any given time in my neighborhood, you can see no less than six to eight dogs running around and terrorizing the kids that are at play. I have placed numerous calls to our Animal Control office and, if it is within their work hours, they sometimes come out. I have yet to see them leave with a dog or cat, though. One time when I called I was even told by the lady that answered the phone, that people in our neighborhood complain when they come out. What! Someone please educate this person and department that they have badges and are peace officers. They are paid to enforce the law regardless of complaints! What if the Sheriff's Office wouldn't respond to robberies because the criminals complain? If a person complains about their 'family pet' being hauled off, they should be immediately cited for breaking the leash law. Yes folks, I have a 'family pet' also and my dog stays in a fenced-in back yard and is kept under control. She doesn't run wild and loose and crap in my neighbors' yards. Get a grip folks, if you get your pet arrested, it's your own fault! Come NCAC, do your job and pick up these nuisances. And get someone to cover later than 6 p.m. The loose pet problem increases when these 'sorry excuses for owners' get home and let out more animals into the street."

"This is a warning for the senior citizens of Newton county. My mother was flimflammed by a well-dressed black couple over in the Kroger parking lot in Covington recently for over $1,200. She was so embarrassed she didn't report it to the police department. So far the cops don't know about it. I am reading online Newton Citizen about the elderly man got in the back seat and let two strangers drive him and an envelope went missing on his seat. Sounds like he was flimflammed and was too embarrassed. No telling how many of our seniors in Newton County this has happened to. Please warn the seniors that the flimflam people are out there getting people."

"Mayor Carter and the council cannot spend our tax dollars fast enough. Now that she has new office furniture, they want to raise their pay by 50 percent. That's right 50 percent. When have you had a 50 percent increase in income? This November there will be three council members up for re-election. If any of them vote for this pay raise, I hope that the voters will not forget about this and vote them out of office. We, the citizens, already pay for their insurance and money for their pension fund. They should think about the 10 percent unemployment we have. That's right, one out of 10 are out of work and they want a 50 percent pay increase. When will it stop? We cannot afford to increase politicians' pay raise when people in this economy are struggling to make ends meet. Foreclosures are very high in the city of Covington and Newton County. Why don't they get the message to tighten their belt up and live by their own means."

"Poor pitiful me. I am so dang gum tired of hearing people who don't do diddly but work the government complain and cry the crocodile tears. If you can't afford a house, don't buy it. That takes care of the 'F' word - foreclosure. If you can't afford the vehicle you are driving or want to drive, don't get it. Some people know how to work the government. That is the only work they do know. Forget about ever having a job. Live off the people who do work for a living. I am so worn out from all the gimmees."

"Last week's Citizen Poll contained a letter that stated that the buildings in Covington were not as attractive as those of others in different locations. New buildings should be built using bricks. Well, the comments were made about the Wal-Mart, which incidentally is one of the more attractive Wal-Marts in this part of the country. But, if you take a look at the Home Depot the new Wendy's on Highway 142 and the Aldi Food store under construction, they are all brick buildings. I think we are coming along fine, and I think the future of Newton County and the city of Covington will be far more attractive that some of the old buildings that indeed will be replaced with newer structures as time goes on and economic values change."

"This is in response to the person calling in about my rant about Newton county not having a movie theater. I got my population figures from Newton County and Coweta County. I googled the 2008 population census for both counties. That is how I came up with the population estimates. As far as why I picked Coweta, I was just browsing through the Atlanta Journal looking for movie times and noticed they had two separate theaters listed for Coweta county. That is how I came up with Coweta County as my rant. We are still large enough to support a movie chain. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce should pitch us to those type of businesses. That way they wouldn't have to be preaching to us about shop Newton. We would do it on our own."

"Concerning the newly elected mayor, Kim Carter. I ask all those who voted for this individual to please stand up. Now, take out your wallets and put your money on her new desk to pay for her new office furniture and pay raise. (The rest of us have better things to do with our money, such as trying to support our families). It seems that the most pressing issues to Ms. Carter are new office furniture and voting herself and council members a pay raise during a difficult economic time for this country, which includes Newton County! And to that point, in most jobs you would be considered in a probationary period. Prove yourself before asking for a pay raise."