The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line:
"I believe Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi deserves her new $60 million private jet plane and its $30,000 cost-per-trip. Speaker Pelosi has the distinction of being the first female Speaker in USA history. She is third in line for President of the USA, after President Obama and Vice-President Biden. And, she is a leader of the majority Democrat party we elected to our Congress, and represents a district of our most populous state, California. And, by the way, she also deserves her new $3,000 pay raise and new $94,000 raise for her personal and office expenses. (I also feel that all our elected members of our Congress deserve their guaranteed automatic lifetime pay raises which they recently passed. They are the foundation of our American Republic and have to propose, discuss, and vote on all our country's needs. If our USA was a democracy instead of a republic, all of us would have to vote on every single need and issue of our vast and complex country - we wouldn't even have time to earn a living for our family!)"
"To the reader who hates the way we drive, this is for you. I'm so tired of people complaining about how "Southerners' drive, talk, eat, breathe, etc. It's a free country and you don't have to stay. The same roads that brought you into the Deep South will take you right back out. Go back to Minnesota, Wisconsin or wherever it is you came from."
"A few days ago I e-mailed our friends at the Newton County Chamber of Commerce to ask them what are they doing to attract commercial development to Newton County, and I have yet to hear a response from them. It makes me question what do they really do that benefits this county. I mean, even if they attract a high-paying industrial operation to locate here, what benefit is that to Newton County if we spend those wages in another county when all we have to do is put some of that energy in commercial recruiting that we do for industrial business. Walton County is doing a great job in attracting commercial development in more than one town (Monroe and Loganville), and we can't get anything to locate one in (Covington)."
"I feel that the closing of the Newton County Library on Saturday is a very bad idea. I do genealogy research, and my work schedule is such that I visit the library primarily on Saturdays. Now, that is no longer going to be an option for me, which is going to hurt my research. There are plenty of families who are now going to be up a creek about going to the library here. What are we supposed to do? If the library needed to be closed a second day during the week, would it not have been better to pick a weekday for it, rather than closing it on the only weekend day they're open? I'll be taking my family to the Nancy Guinn Library in Conyers now."
"Reducing hours of operation for the recycling centers makes sense. However, the proposed method of opening at 9 a.m. does not. Use a customer focus: many people want to use the facilities on the way to work. To maximize customer access, use two abbreviated shifts: four hours in the morning, four hours in the afternoon. Indeed, this will inconvenience the person who supervises the site, but will extend convenience for a large proportion of taxpayers and citizens. As one writer already indicated in the March 14 poll - people don't want to have refuse and recycling materials in their cars all day, and traveling home after work and then returning to the center just uses more time and fuel. A predictable outcome for the 9 a.m. approach, is that many people will wait until the weekend, and then all the containers will be full creating other problems and dissatisfaction. Please think of the best way to maximize collections and convenience to citizens."
"Walking Trail - Welcomes crime, drugs, rape, murder, home invasions, burglary, and vagrants to Newton County. For those of you who don't know it, the county is spending a million dollars to buy railroad track property in the county! This is only the beginning. To pave this 40-mile stretch of Walking Trails it will cost approximately $20 million! (That's $20,000,000) And heaven only knows how much of our tax dollars to maintain this project over the years. With the local food pantry out of money and many other things that need our assistance, this is almost a sick joke on the people. In a time of economic recession, the citizens don't need anything done for us except for basic services. Hey, let's cut 20 percent of our budget for police protection, fire and other services and get us a walking trail! For those who live nearby the existing "tracks', do you realize that the rights of way are not just the tracks? Most of these rights of way are 35 feet wide! So, as you and your children sit in your homes, there will be drug deals going down, vagrants encamped on your doorsteps, and all manner of evil that man can think of brought right into your homes! There is no way to police these areas ... 40 miles! How could anyone afford to protect all the residents living by the tracks/walking trail?"
"To the person responding to the "Retired Newton County Resident' article on Volunteer firefighters, apparently I did not make myself clear enough for you. I fully support and applaud those who are volunteers and thank them for their service. The point I was trying to make is the unnecessary cost of maintaining equipment and facilities in what could be called a redundant system. Full-time county fire fighters and equipment respond to all calls, including those which volunteers have responded to."
"This is in response to a comment that was made last week regarding the East Newton Elementary school play. As a parent of one of the cast members I have been thoroughly pleased with East Newton's vision to offer something of this magnitude to our students, while STILL keeping education as their number one priority. There has been no reduction in class work or homework since day one, proving that education is still top priority. I believe that by offering the involvement in the play to all third-fifth-grade students has given them a chance to broaden their education into the arts rather than strictly focusing on standard subjects. Being in the play was an optional choice per student/parent and all practices are done after school, not during school hours. This as been a blessing for my child, who has always been a great student, but somewhat shy. The confidence level increase we have witnessed with our child alone in my opinion would not have happened if this was not so! All of the students in the play are extremely excited about what they are doing and cannot wait for all of the parents and students in the school to see the play. As to the display of personal advertisement lines, sold for only $1 each, this was not mandatory, just a way to boost excitement for the kids involved by turning it into a small competition, which we all know kids love. The money raised is going to help pay for props and costumes for the children. And before judgment is made on a teacher selling advertisements for the program, which is also helping pay for sets and costumes, consideration should be made as to why it was being done during school hours, could it be possible that they were off that day or it was during a planning time? ... "
"How government works: Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "someone may steal from it at night.' So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job. Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?' So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies. Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?' So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports. Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?' So they created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people. Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?' So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an administrative officer, assistant administrative officer, and a legal secretary. Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost.' So they laid off the night watchman."
"Milton just opened a new Kohls; Canton just opened a new Kohls as well as a Best Buy; Loganville just opened a Best Buy and a Dicks Sporting Goods; Winder just opened a Belk and a Target. Where is all the retail growth in Newton that was promised by all of our elected officials when we voted them in? That was one of the main things they were pitching - we are going to bring in commercial development. I haven't seen anything. You guys really need to step it up and you, too, at the Chamber of Commerce."
"I heard a newscaster state that the Department of Transportation for Georgia took on the average 22 months longer to complete a project than any other state. Watching the work that is being done at Highway 212 and Brown Bridge Road, I can believe it."
"For all of you who are upset about the library closing on Saturday, I would remind you that you can use the W.H. Stanton Memorial Library in Social Circle. They are not only open on Saturday, but on Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. Other hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-6, Tuesday, 10-9 Thursday, 10-8, Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday as mentioned above, 2 p.m-6p.m. Your Newton County library card is accepted at Social Circle as well . If they don't have the book you need, they can get it for you if it is in the system. All of their people are very nice and helpful. Enjoy ... "
"Dog Not Allowed In School: A dog had followed his owner to school. His owner was a fourth-grader at a public elementary school. However, when the bell rang, the dog sidled inside the building and made it all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shooed him outside, closing the door behind him. The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors. Then God appeared beside the dog, patted his head, and said, "Don't feel bad fella ... they won't let me in either.'"
"I heard that a city of Covington politician was asked to leave a well-known restaurant on the Square. What hear ye?"
"After reading the front page of the March 19 AJC, I dare someone from the Chamber of Commerce to call in to the poll talking about demographics related to retail growth. Walton County has a population estimate of over 85,000, Barrow of over 70,000, while Newton is right at 99,000. Yet both counties have larger, newer retail bases. I won't complain anymore as long as our officials stop begging us to shop local. By the way, where outside of Wal-Mart in Newton is there to shop."
"I was not the least bit impressed with the "now we the man' (person) and would never be happy about anyone losing their hard-earned savings. But, I am sick of the disparaging comments about President Obama, and the implications that an Obama supporter must be black, ignorant, uneducated, unemployed and lazy. I am an intelligent, educated 44-year-old white female who works my butt off everyday in an administrative support position. I'm conscientious, reliable, and respected by my bosses. I pay my taxes in full and on time. I voted for Barack Obama because I couldn't bear the thought of four more years like the last eight. Do I think the rich should pay more taxes? You better believe it! If you make more money than I do, you should pay more taxes. The most perfect and truly fair tax system would be one where everyone paid the exact same percentage of his/her earnings. But guess who's against that idea? The rich - because then they couldn't use their loopholes to get out of paying their fair share. But despite the stereotype that so many of you seem to believe, not all non-Republicans and/or Obama supporters are for giving help to those who don't deserve it. Do I think that the government should give handouts to those not willing to provide for themselves? Absolutely not! But you also have to be able to distinguish between those who won't and those who can't. If ever there were a time to realize that losing everything could happen to any of us, it is now! So the next time you start to lump us all together, stop and remember that there are some decent, hard-working Obama supporters out here. For all of our sakes, I hope he does a good job."
"I was wondering is there any help to get your animals vaccinated? Due to all the financial constraints my family has received (as well as many other families I am sure) over the past two years we have been unable to have our animals properly vaccinated. I was wondering is there any services out there to help families keep their pets legal and safe for the community as well as their children?"
Editor's note: Contact Newton County Animal Control at 770-786-9514 to see if they can direct you to the services you requested.