The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's Newton Citizen Poll was an open line.
"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 reelection. 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."
Editor's note: Council members agreed to remove the pay increase from their agenda Monday night.
"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 Goggled 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."
Editor's note: The council agreed Monday to remove the pay raise from their agenda.
"I would like to say 'thank you' to my child's first grade teacher, Ms. Amber St. Clair. She has got to be the best first grade teacher ever. When my daughter was in kindergarten at Palmer Stone, I thought we could not possibly get a better teacher than Ms. Ballard and now Newton County school system just proves they have our children No. 1 on the list. Thank you to all the teachers for your efforts to better our children and our 'Future Leaders' of Newton County. If you think your tax dollars are not been well spent ... what better way than educating of 'future leaders' of tomorrow. These children will one day be our sheriff, Board of Commissioners, educators, doctors and possibly our next president. Behold Newton County, and watch you tax dollars at work!"
"A great way to lower unemployment! Back during The Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make jobs available to American citizens that desperately needed work. Harry Truman deported over 2 million Illegals after WWII to create jobs for returning veterans. And then again in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican nationals! The program was called 'Operation Wetback' so that American WWII and Korean veterans had a better chance at jobs. It took two years, but they deported them! Now, if they could deport the illegals back then, they can sure do it today! If you have doubts about the veracity of this information, enter Operation Wetback into your favorite search engine and confirm it for yourself. Reminder. Don't forget to pay your taxes ... 12 million illegal aliens are depending on you."
"Finally, Rockdale County has seen the light. As I read the Sunday edition, I was relieved that Daddy's Bar and Grill finally got caught ... "
"What constitutes reasonable? Responding to comments in your newspaper from the hired gun, attorney Peters for the Newton County Board of Commissioners ... to condemn and evict the Emmett Denby family, what does he mean '... they will be allowed to live there a reasonable time.' In legal speak that could mean whatever the puppet master wants it to mean. Is there no one on the Newton County Board of Commissioners with enough intestinal fortitude to write the Denbys a letter and say, 'You will be allowed to continue to live in your home until all construction and withdrawal permits are obtained and until construction begins in earnest?' Have we elected another board of puppets?"
"To the person who said that we have one of the nicer Wal-Marts in the country, maybe you don't travel a lot. The only difference about our Wal-Mart is the paint scheme. Wal-Mart only builds nice-looking stores for two reasons 1. The city or county leaders have to force them 2. If they build in a high income area where they know the residents won't tolerate their normal cookie-cutter look. Our leaders could have pushed the issue on the facade. Brick would have been more attractive than the painted block look. Maybe if the economy allows the Salem Road Wal-Mart to still be built it will be brick."
"The recent underage drinking bust at Daddy's in Conyers needs to be duplicated at (other locations) in Covington. There are way too many kids drinking in those locations. It needs to be stopped, but there is never any monitoring of these locations."
"I have been reading so much about the Newton County School System about laying teachers off and other staff because of money problems. Here is a way they can save. If they told the bus drivers not to let their buses run for an hour in the morning to warm up. It only needs to run for about 10 minutes. I live in the Doubles Gate community and my bedroom faces Jack Neely Road. Every morning there is a bus driver that lives on Jack Neely Road the driver starts the bus at 5:15 a.m. and does not leave the house until 6:15 a.m. Diesel fuel is high in price. I bet the bus driver doesn't let his car run for a hour to warm it up. It is sad that I can't even open my windows at night to get fresh air the noise of the bus is very loud when running. Someone needs to do something about this."
"I am trying to understand the way Congress works. For eight years they spent money on all kinds of pork that they indicated wasn't pork but was to help them get elected again. (My interpretation!) Then after the USA going into a deep recession they voted to give out several billions of dollars of the taxpayers money to banks and Wall Street so the CEOs and others could get their million-dollar bonuses. There was no accounting made of the money. (Again my interpretation!) Now a new administration is in power wanting more money and the past administration is opposed to it. It seems some restrictions are going to be placed on the money and I guess that is what the Republicans oppose. I have a feeling that Congress has lost sight of their duties and why they were elected. It looks like lobbyists and big business are still calling the shots. I've noticed that in cities large and small and in the federal government, education and safety are the first items cut. Not too many CEOs or Congressmen are taking a cut in wages. It used to be people got paid for what they did and not what they didn't do. I guess I am not smart enough to understand all of this, but I do know that crime is on the rise, more houses are burning and back many years ago the czar of Russia said that if he could control education he could control the world. Let's make sure this doesn't happen."
"I just read the news regarding Gov. Perdue wanting to reorganize Ga. DOT to be more effective in handling their funds. How ironic we would let the governor reduce the size of the governing board for DOT (from 13 to three-five) and let him be the major influence on the DOT policies and funding. Here is a man who cannot repay his own personal loans for $21 million! He will probably divert DOT money to his home county for local, low impact projects, (just like he did to built a stupid fish farm in his area, which also costs the taxpayers $23 million). The fish farm, disguised as a tourism project, will not help Georgia citizens who have been laid off by his own administration! Thanks a lot 'pork barrel' Perdue!"
"The front cover of Wednesday's (Feb. 18th) paper depicts a beautiful, bare oak tree described as a live oak. However, the live oak, Georgia's state tree, is an evergreen that drops it's leaves only once in it's lifetime (during the second or third year). Happy Arbor Day."
Editor's note: Thanks for the correction.
"I read the article by our crybaby mayor. I have a cliche for her: 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.' And as far as her dog thing and the parked cars, I always heard that a 'beat dog barks loudest, and fool's names like fool's faces are always seen in public places,' so thank God for anonymity."
"I am a taxpayer and a concerned citizen. Newton County has wasted so much money ... but now the citizens of Newton County are having to pay for this. For example, there are people working right now in Newton County are just riding the clock out. They are making entirely too much money and not making the effort to do their job. For another example, the school system, they waste entirely too much money. They take field trips that are unnecessary. If these field trips were educational it would be different, but there are people out there doing field trips like the Special Ed children that are in wheelchairs that ... can hardly walk, hardly speak and they are taking these field trips to the bowling alley. For example, several weeks ago I was at a school and I seen a bus driver take two special ed children in wheelchairs and a parapro, teacher and one more child that could barely walk. They went to the bowling alley. That is fuel wasted, money wasted. Our taxpayers dollars are coming from this."
"A great big thank you to Steve Horton! He at least recognizes the poor economy. Thanks again."
"How would you pollsters feel about Newton and Walton counties merging into one, it would better allow us to control the kind of growth we get in the east metro area, because I pray that we don't turn into another Rockdale with 'King Oden' running the show. If we kept the Newton name we could make Monroe the county seat or if we kept the Walton name we could make Covington the county seat. I would like for Newton and any Walton residents reading this to respond. It would be easier for us to get similar development protocols in the eastern areas that we share, and merging into one county could be viewed as being bad or good, but to each his own. It would be great in my opinion and it would maybe open up more transportation funding for us to improve and widen these roads in the area."
"Just wanted to ask if anyone else had the same problem with their 2008 property taxes I did. They raised my estimated value $40,000. With the property value at the time, I could not believe what they did. When I went to the Newton County Tax Office and questioned this, all they would tell me was, 'well at least it is not what you paid'? Big deal, it was $5,000 less than I paid. In Florida where I moved from, I sold my home after 14 years. The estimated value on taxes was over $300,000 less than I paid. What is going on here? The $40,000 increase was including my big Homestead Exemption of approximately $300-400. Sure they could afford this? I am a senior citizen, too. In Florida our Homestead Exemption was $25,000. I moved here because I thought it would be cheaper. Am I having my eyes open. The tag charge is ludicrous, the Georgia state tax and the property tax being raised this much when the values of homes are in the toilet. Give me a break! I should have stayed in Florida!"
"This is in response to the Citizen Poll on Saturday, Feb. 14th edition. One person said they voted for a Democrat and the mayor and the City Council is going to vote themselves a pay raise - shame on them. I would just like to tell that person to make sure what they are talking about because the mayor and the City Council are nonpartisan races that was voted on two years ago. The Democrats that swept Newton County this year are on the Commission chair and the County Commission, not on the City Council. So it is OK to be upset and OK to be offended by pay raises but make sure your facts are in order before you ran in the Citizen Poll."
"I was calling about the Newton County having a $5 million deficit. Well, I have a relative who works for Newton County and they actually received letters today talking about pay cuts for everybody and he is one of the lowest-paid employees, and come to find out the spending is unreal. Of course most people know that. The judges are having a $300,000 secure parking area built when why can't they use the parking garage, which is secure enough for the citizens but not for them. The sheriff just got a brand new Tahoe .... Why is it the people are having to take pay cuts because they are doing all this massive spending."
Editor's note: Spending for the secure parking lot is set at approximately $267,000.