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Newton Phone Poll - 06/27/09

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 poll@newtoncitizen.com.

"Re: the unfair restaurant inspections. You reported - 'An interpretation manual is being developed to make sure regulations are being interpreted the same in all districts and a draft will be available for public comment in the next 30 days.' I wonder if the new inspector has ever run a business? Would the Citizen please follow up and give the citizens of Newton County a link to the interpretation manual. BTW - who grades the law updates and interpretation manual?"

"Let me get this straight - Newton County Schools scored below the state average in all 34 areas of testing, which means our county schools are worse than average in one of the worst states in the country for education. Can someone explain to me why we are the ones who people think are crazy for home schooling our children? Ironic, since my children score in the top on their standardized tests."

"To the restaurant owners that are complaining that you are losing business as a result of low scores by the health department. Could it be possible that you are losing business because you have raised your prices so much that we can no longer afford to eat at your place of business? Some of you have raised your prices as much as $2 on some items. I know that we have stopped eating out since you have raised your prices. Some of you that are complaining also do need to keep your places cleaner, some of your employees wipe table scraps off in the floor when wiping tables, others use their bare hands when touching food, etc. If you want your customers back, you need to lower your prices and keep your places clean."

"Walter Stokes - Thank you for returning the wallet that you found on the Square. If there were more people with your level of honesty and integrity, the world would most certainly be a better place!"

"Kudos to Walter Stokes for returning the wallet that he found lying on Pace Street. Mr. Stokes, you exemplify the highest morals and decency, and it is so refreshing to see that folks like you still exist. I agree with your statement that it shouldn't be such a big deal, but sadly it is. Thank you, Newton Citizen, for printing the story. There is always more good than evil. Unfortunately, we hardly ever hear it. Good luck in your job hunt, Mr. Stokes, and God bless you!"

"Many, many thanks to the Newton County Library for their scheduled reopening on Saturdays. I am most appreciative of their efforts to make at least a half day available to the public on this day."

"I would just like to say that our family of four enjoys eating out on a daily basis, lunch and dinner. Yes, twice a day, we specifically dine with local independent restaurants for many reasons. Specifically, we get more personal attention with the smaller run restaurants than we would with bigger chain restaurants where we feel more like a number or herd pushing us through. The other reason is it is the feeling that we are neighbors helping neighbors living out their dream in owning and running a restaurant. If you took the time to get to know these restaurant owners, you might just enrich your lives a little with some new friends. Unless you aren't the friendly kind, or just a creature of habit, then stick to your chains. Dining locally also helps keep the tax dollars local, so in a way, I feel I am also contributing to my kids' schools, public safety, parks and other things in the area. Occasionally we dine outside Newton County and I feel that's OK, too, just helps that town out a bit more. Oh, and just for the record, after years of dining out, not once has any of us ever gotten sick from food poisoning at any of these establishments! We also take responsibility and wash our own hands prior to eating."

"I am very concerned about the quality of our school system. While we have some really great teachers in the system, we also have some teachers that only seem to be there for a paycheck and not for the actual joy of teaching. I understand that people get burned out after a period of time but these are our kids and their futures are at stake. I read in the paper that the system is seeking new teachers from all parts to staff the schools. I really don't understand why we cannot attract great teachers. Also, during the last five years, new schools have been built to accommodate the growth of the county. All of these schools have been from Hwy. 36 and to the west. Are any new schools going to be built on the east side of the county? Also, a survey went out to the parents of all students about ASAP (the after school program). Many of us would love this option for our children but only the schools in the western part of the county will benefit. What's this about? ... As a parent of a student, I am very concerned about the quality of education that is received. It is, from what I have seen over the last five years, declining. For this reason, I will be looking into private school."

Editor's note: As you point out, the new schools were built to accommodate the growth of the county. Therefore, the general locations of new schools are determined by population density and the potential for future growth.

"What a blessing it is to have a judge with the ethics of Covington's and Newton County's Judge Sammy Ozburn. He gets it. He doesn't flaunt his influential position, he puts his expertise as an officer in our flawed judicial system to the use of every man or woman regardless of their social standing or lack thereof. To reiterate what has already been written in print, he goes out of his way to rehabilitate people who have been found guilty in his court. He allows low-risk inmates to be in a work-release program instead of behind bars. He knows how costly incarceration for the taxpayer this is and it does nothing for rehabilitation, especially for the younger transgressor. When speaking of Judge Sammy Ozburn, you can say 'your honor' and truly mean it. You might want to listen up Judge Benton of Monroe."

"I was calling about the robberies around the Georgia Tech campus. I think it is a shame that young people go up there work hard, try to get a good education to make something of themselves, and you have these super 'thugs' running around up there robbing and injuring them and all that stuff. I think that is just a shame. Tech is great institution, this you know puts a big scar on their record, you know that."

"It's amazing to me that our county can't afford to put on a fireworks show for the children and families to enjoy time together, but the small town of Porterdale can? Not to mention all the cutbacks that are affecting our county's public safety personnel ... will someone tell me where our county officials are spending our tax dollars? ... "