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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I have a question for the county commissioners. Where has the SPLOST gone that was collected for the civic center and grand hotel here in Covington. Who is accountable for the money from SPLOST if it was not used on the items that were voted on by the voters. Now that we seem to be losing jobs, houses, and everything else we worked for, the commissioners want a new wish list. We really need an agricultural center with all the difficult times we are going through. I'm sure that someone who has just lost his job or home would really like to see a new home built for a bunch of cows. Sounds like the commissioners house is already full of manure already! Why not use the already collected monies from the civic center to build a new barn where the civic center was to be. Vote No for the next SPLOST vote, and let's hold politicians accountable."
Editor's Note: The money is being held in an account. If the project is not completed five years after the sunset of the current SPLOST, which would be June 30, 2016, according to an intergovernmental agreement, the funds will be used to reduce county debt, or if there is no debt, to reduce property taxes. The same is true for funds allocated to any projects in the 2005 SPLOST that are not completed by that deadline.
"Our neighbors are furious regarding the new zoning of the elementary schools. I just don't understand why you can be upset to be moved from one failing school to another. It might be different if either school was able to make AYP."
"I am trying to figure out why the county officials say they have no money and are putting the county workers on furlough days. This includes deputies at the NCSO. In recent weeks I have learned that a new fleet manager was hired at the county barn. I know this is a political move, but at $55,000 a year with a new take-home truck and Blackberry what the crap is going on. Citizens of the county are having their safety put on the back burner while there is a new man on the job. I believe that when citizens hear about this they will be very upset as I was. I wish someone would investigate and find out what is going on. Maybe we should bring in an outside person to check on this. I'm just saying. Let's stand up for what is right and let these commissioners know they work for us, not for themselves. This goes for Mrs. Morgan, as well. She is the one that had the final say on this, she should be questioned."
"Just finished 25 laps on the roundabout and I loved it."
"To whoever was going to bring the video camera and picnic lunch and get rich recording funny accidents at the roundabout ... I hope you brought a lot of sandwiches! So far it has been flawless. Now go find another project that will be good for the county, ignore all the facts, and insist it will fail based on your 'expert opinion.' This community needs more doers and less arm chair quarterbacks. Complainers, naysayers, and bah-humbugs like you need to propose alternative solutions to our problems or shut up entirely!
"I am amazed at the number of traffic signs that have been installed at our new 'roundabout.' The most intriguing is the 'Yield Right of Way' signs. These signs imply that drivers understand what this means and have developed common courtesy habits. Yes, many drivers do have but there remains a whole bunch that don't, especially those with the cell phone permanently attached to their ear or soccer moms. The roundabout has the potential to become an updated version of a scene in a Chevy Chase movie 'European Vacation' or a mini 'NASCAR' circuit track. And the new tunnel appears to be Newton County's 'Tunnel to Nowhere.' Meaning there are no sidewalks leading up to the tunnel from the east side of Turner Lake -- Hmmmm!"
"Got on the new roundabout Friday. It took 15 minutes to get my turn. All that money and we added 10 minutes to the wait. Good job. Only thing missing is a statue of Queen Kim in the middle."
"I am amazed at how Mayor Kim Carter wants to move so quickly trying to get Main Street under the 'city' control by Dec. 1st, but the mayor and city council cannot clarify the duties of Main Street or who Ms. Kelly reports to since the council's decision last May to postpone her raise and assistant. Makes one wonder if she already has them?"
"I am calling about the local recycling center I use. I have noticed in the past couple of weeks when I go to the center to dispose of my material I have nowhere to put it because all the boxes are full. I asked the attendant that is on duty what is going on, and I am told that when the center opens up that there is only a half a box for the people to use on Sundays. The attendant says that is the way it has been the last couple of weeks. He says he is not sure why? So, my question is for someone to check in and see what is going on with the boxes not being emptied properly."
"Thought for the day: People who live in the North have no idea what it's like to have to deal with carpetbaggers."
"I used to go to Turner Lake and fish in the mornings. I don't go any more. The place is not safe. The outhouses are turned over and across the trail. Trash barrels are turned over and strewn. When I get there real early I see what looks like drug deals and people having sex in cars. Everyone else seemed to have stopped fishing anyway. The place is not safe for old people."
"Interesting. The Democrats are blaming Republicans for 'blocking' extension of the tax cuts, yet the Democrats are the ones still in the majority (new members haven't taken office yet) and they could ram it through to pass if they wanted it. Also interesting that the unions pushed health care to be voted in, but now all major unions have filed to be exempt from the law. Very interesting."
"With childhood obesity increasing at an alarming rate I am very concerned about the situation in our schools. There is no requirement to take P.E., and there are soda machines in the schools. Most of the schools in Newton County have concession stands that sell candy, chips, and soft drinks just to name a few items. We need to care more about our students. Their health is the responsibility of the school system when they are at school. It is important for all parents to monitor what is going on with their children. Let's join together and get the junk food out of our schools!"
"I am a retired law enforcement officer from another jurisdiction who moved to Newton County to be near my family. After reading your recent article concerning a drug raid in the Spring Hill community, I have to agree with other callers who believe something is wrong with drug enforcement in Newton County. Drug officers here appear to sit back and wait on complaints from citizens concerning low level drug houses and also wait on a call from the UPS man. They then arrest three or four low level black street dealers or users and then declare a great victory. The callers who say that no suppliers or distributors are ever arrested got it right. Law enforcement departments in surrounding counties seem to be able to make arrests further up the drug distribution chain. Been there."
"This comment is in reference to the Citizen Poll regarding the Porterdale Fire Department from last week. I am a previous member of the fire department and have witnessed numerous issues regarding the fire chief. I attempted to change several of these and was met with extreme resistance. The members of the Fire Department have consistently been excluded from receiving bylaws, accounting information and their right to hold positions within the department as required by the bylaws of the corporation. The bylaws explicitly state that the fire chief cannot hold the positions of treasurer or president and yet he holds all officer positions on the board as indicated by the Secretary of State online records, which anyone can view. This is a violation and provides little to no financial oversight as required by law for all nonprofit organizations. ... This really needs to be looked into and resolved for the benefit of the department."
"As a citizen of Porterdale, Ga., I was very concerned to hear about what is taking place with the fire department. I have a lot of respect for the work that the fire fighters do within the community, and I am sad to see that the station is being managed poorly. I find it sickening that one person could take advantage of the community and the fire fighters ... This person needs to be removed from office immediately. ... I hope that the citizens of Porterdale are important enough to the city for this action to be taken. Sincerely, a very Concerned Citizen of Porterdale."
"For the person unhappy with the progress of construction along Hwy 142 near Wal Mart,Cumberland Gap, KY is about 30 miles EASY off I-75. So, no comparison."