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Newton Poll - 12-04-10

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.

"Roundabout could bring locals cash. I, for one, am going to be on hand when the roundabout opens with my video cam on a tripod and plenty of picnic lunch packed for the duration. As you know, the funniest video show pays out up to $100,000 for the funniest video, and I believe it could well come from the new roundabout on Turner Lake Road in Covington. Just because I've told you my plans, please don't crowd me or step in front of my camera."

"I would like to give Black Friday a whole new meaning if you will allow me to. No it is not about race, so do not go there. My Black Friday consisted of opening my pay check, the one I receive from the county, and low and behold it was $200 less than what I am accustomed to. Thanks for the furlough days! I look forward to the others coming up during Christmas, which will just about take one week away from my two-week pay check. Thanks for a job well done goes out to the Board of Commissioners. No, it's not your fault for the downturn of the economy, but you do own the blame for the poor money management which has really, really, affected all of the employees of the county. I would also like to know if the Commissioners are participating in the furlough days. And yes, I am an employee for the county, but not much longer. If I took the chance and stayed any longer my family might go hungry, already don't know what I am going to do about Christmas for my kids. Thanks again for standing up for the employees of Newton County who do an outstanding job at what they do. And by the way, I do remember someone standing in the room of the Turner Lake Park when all this started involving our retirement, and he did say to all the employees that were there, If you don't like it go somewhere else. He can deny all he wants, but he said it."

"After reading many comments on the subject of cutbacks and wage reductions or no increase in pay for X number of years for government employees (city, county, teachers, postal workers, etc.), I would like to share with you a few insights. One, I worked in the private sector for over 41 years and when things (the economy) got tough -- and less revenue available, decisions were made to lay off people, delay increases in pay, reduce pay. Yes, I was a victim of these decisions. The first time, I was laid off was after 14 years on service on 12/16/1981 -- unemployment 10.5 percent. I quickly learned there are no guarantees in life. So I ask why should any government employee be exempt from similar action when things get tough? The other thing I learned along the way, was how to work more efficiently to help save any future such experiences. I'll cite a couple of examples. About three months ago, I reported a malfunctioning street light near my home to the city of Covington and within one day they came out to fix it -- great response time. However, there were two bucket trucks and four employees that showed up. That reminded of that joke 'How many XXXX's does it take to change a light bulb?' Efficiency? No way! Why is it necessary when a 911 call is placed, that an EMS vehicle, a sheriff's deputy (sometimes two) and a fire truck (respond). I understand the need for the first two but the fire truck and a second deputy? I was told only the fire department personnel are trained to do certain things. Why not train the EMS folks to do those things and save fuel, wear and tear on those expensive fire trucks? I've had the opportunity to visit several USPS bulk break centers around Atlanta and at each facility I noticed that there were more people not working (10-15 forklift drivers just sitting idle at the shipping/loading docks). And they wonder why they lose billions every year. If people at all levels look for ways to do their job more efficiently to save money/costs maybe they can save future cutbacks, etc. and avoid the need for SPLOST or property tax increases."

"Don't berate Chairman Kathy Morgan because there's a new SPLOST. The current one is set to expire, and a new one must be voted on. Look at what previous SPLOST votes have given the county: the Newton County Library, the Judicial Center that won national awards, and Turner Lake Park, another national award-winner. The list proposed by Mort Ewing was put together outside the bounds of the democratic process without public discussion by the commissioners and should be rejected. It has not been voted yet by the commission and there should be vigorous scrutiny. The chair has only a tie-breaking vote. Whatever the final list will be, it must include a significant amount of debt service. If it were to fail, your millage rate will go up to cover the shortfall. Better a penny now than hundreds of dollars later."

"Now what, guys? Your cell phone is glued to your ear: Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic discovered that the more time men spent on their cell phones, the lower their sperm counts. Men who spent four hours a day or more on their cells had the lowest sperm counts and men who didn't use cell phones at all had the highest. A separate Australian laboratory study figured out why: The 1.8 gigahertz frequency used by cell phones increased the amount of free radical damage on sperm, reducing their ability to swim and increasing DNA fragmentation."

"I recommend the 142 bypass/Covington Bypass/Eagle Drive road be renamed to the 401K Highway 'cause by the time that construction company gets it completed all the workers will be retired. Sure glad they didn't get the contract to build I-75 through the Cumberland Gap -- probably would still be working on it."

"Thank you Newton Citizen! That other newspaper/tabloid in our community now requires online viewers to provide a name, e-mail address and birthdate just to view their site! Optional information they ask for is: occupation, income, and address. Thanks for featuring relevant, timely information without having to divulge my personal information to read it."

"Wow! Just went through the roundabout on Turner Lake Road on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in a hard rain. It was flawless. The only thing I liked better were my windshield wipers."

"Why is the Porterdale Volunteer Fire Department operating as a non-profit organization with no internal financial oversight and what appears to be no external oversight? One person has been listed on the Secretary of State Web site as the president, treasurer and secretary of the department with no other officers on the board and has neglected to hold elections as required by the bylaws of the organization for numerous years. This is not the way non-profit organizations are supposed to be operated. Something is wrong here and it needs to be investigated."