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Newton Poll - 02/27/2010

The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. These opinions 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.

"The city of Oxford, Ga., is already listed on a couple of computer Web sites as being a Georgia speed trap. Yesterday, I was about 50 feet behind a car headed north on Ga. 81 when a city of Oxford patrol car heading in the opposite direction turned on his blue light specials and whipped around to stop the car ahead of me. I was doing exactly 35 mph and the guy ahead of me couldn't have been doing more than 2 mph more than I was -- yet -- our over aggressive police force saw fit to pull the driver over. I guess word has gone out to help finance Oxford's new City Hall any way possible. Bummer!"

"Citizens, this man invented a light bulb that brought light to millions of people around the world and is still helping people make money in our economy today. His name, Thomas Edison. This man invented a device that transferred sound by way of electrical wire. From that invention, cell phones evolved and are making people billions of dollars today. His name, Alexander Graham Bell. These two men invented a contraption that took off from the ground and flew just a short distance. From that contraption the airline industry was born, and employs millions and makes people billions of dollars each year. There names Orville and Wilbur Wright. My point is this, fellow citizens, if there is no history month that honors these great inventors, why is there a history month for anyone. I understand that black people have contributed to the history of this country, like the Tuskegee airmen. I also know that black chiefs participated in the slave trade. You can research it on the Internet. The slave trade was terrible, and you can blame Africa as much as you can blame America or you can blame the world, because throughout history just about every race of people has been enslaved. Why don't we put the history in the history books and forgive each other and do what we can to make this the last year of black history month and the beginning of American history month."

"The big news this week was a zebra and a Tiger. At least the zebra was honest."

"I was calling about the comment in the Saturday paper calling a lot of white people 'hillbillies.' I tell you what, I wish I was a whole lot more like hillbillies. I am not as much like them as I want to be. Hillbilly people are not afraid to go to the mailbox scared they would get robbed or mugged or something like that. They are not scared to get out of the house. ... "

"I was calling about the person stating how bad the Indians were treated. I have a suggestion if you think they were treated that bad. They once owned the land you live on. Why don't you sell your property and donate the proceeds to them."

"Hmmmmm! Word has it that Ficquett Elementary School will be closing in the next year or two -- followed by Palmer Stone Elementary and Newton High School in subsequent years. New schools are being built. Question is: Where is all that money coming from? With teachers forced to take off unpaid 'furlough days' -- some have already taken off eight days -- and who knows how many more will be forced upon them? Some teachers don't even know if they will have jobs when all this occurs. I am so looking forward to Election Day 2010 and also again in 2012! Mercy! A good old-fashioned house cleaning is long overdue."

"I cannot believe Charter and their rate increase. I like being able to view channel 6 and 13 because they are community channels and now for some reason they are not even working. I went to place an ad for Valentine's Day and I was told to go to the city. If the city did not want the channels why are they doing ads now. Does the city realize they messed up letting Charter buy the cable system. Since my two favorite channels are now not working and no birthday announcements are on them -- hello, satellite!"

"My comment is regarding all of the great changes and plans for the Clements Theme School for 2010-2011. I am a parent of a child who has attended this struggling school this year, and the only reason my child has remained there is because of the exceptional team of teachers that my child has every day. The school system can make all of the plans they want for changes, but the biggest change that needs to be made is with the leadership of the school. There are some great teachers and staff members who have dealt with a lot of unnecessary stress .... The morale among the parents -- and it seems among the staff as well -- is very low and I fear that with all of these wonderful changes being made the one thing that needs to be considered the most will be ignored. I would like for my child to stay there next year and have those new opportunities, but that decision will be made based on whether or not changes will be made regarding the leadership of Clements Theme School."

The dog ordinance was discussed at the BOC weekend retreat at Burge Plantation along with the noise ordinance. Both of these go hand in hand since the county is overrun by yapping dogs, that may or may not be tethered, with owners that could care less. Remedies for these situations are difficult since even though the current noise ordinance addresses the problem, the sheriff's department won't enforce it. They'll bust you for loud radios at 1:00 AM, but not barking dogs. And getting a response from the Animal Control department can take days or weeks. The answer to the problem is simple. Though I hate the thought of taxes, a "dog tax" should be implemented, paid on an annual basis. In return, the pet owner would receive a collar, tag and a copy of the ordinances. If a future problem arose, then the county could take legal actions and write citations without delays. There's no reason or excuse for yapping dogs disturbing an entire neighborhood because the owner refuses to correct the situation. This is a countywide problem and a very annoying problem. Implement a tax of $25 per animal and a lot of the problems would disappear over night, because the owners would not pay those fees. If the BOC is going to address tethering, then the barking problem should be addressed with some real teeth in the new codes. And before someone writes or calls in whining, the answer is, YES, I own a dog and I have my money in hand as I type this and NO my dog doesn't yap, he is trained and disciplined.

I know why Charter had to file for bankruptcy -- Not listening to what your customers WANT!!!!!

To the driver of the white F150 with the Newton County government decal on the side: Blasting your horn will not make a sane driver pull out in front of oncoming traffic. The only reason I did not report your aggressive driving (on Iris Drive in Conyers, between 138 and Sigman Road, 11:45 am, Feb. 25, in case you don't remember) is because I and the heart patient who was my passenger got a good look at you at the red light, and we realized that your behavior was a clear result of your obvious shortcomings. You're short, you're balding, you're over-the-hill, and appeared to have a wad of tobacco in your mouth, so not only are you stupid, you stink, too. Sorry to tell you, but the tailgating, drag race takeoff from the red light, and speeding will do nothing to change your pitiful plight or how people look at you.

I'm happy to see that the NCSS has finally made some changes at Clements Middle School for next year. It is a shame this didn't happen before so many parents pulled their children out. Children who want to learn and achieve should not have to put up with disruption in the classroom. Let's hope the school system will follow through with these changes!

Why didn't the city council opt for the FFA Camp site for their retreat in the first place? Now Mr. Whatley, Mrs. Goodman and Mrs. Carter want us to think they are fiscally astute. The city is paying out almost $2,000 for their arrogance. Voters, please remember who voted for the extravagant retreat when election time comes around.

I cannot believe that our city officials are planning to spend $200,000 of public funds to hire an "expert" to tell them what to do to improve the appearance of the Pace Street corridor. To begin with, you will be dealing to a large degree with private property, so it will be necessary to have the approval of the property owners. So it would seem that the first step would be to meet with the property owners and discuss what they would like to do and are willing to do. If there are funds available, let it be used for the actual improvements, such as sidewalks and landscaping, and piping Dried Indian Creek, which is a real eye-sore. Let's keep the money "at home."

So let me get this straight. Under President Obama's healthcare plan, our family's premiums will go up 10-13 percent and our benefits go down. If we want to keep our current benefits, our premiums go up 30 percent. (All numbers are according to the OMB). The problem is that raises our premiums above the allowable "range," so we have to drop our coverage down even lower to lower our premiums. Now, Obama can brag that he dropped our monthly premiums and we are going to go bankrupt paying for the higher out of pocket expenses which our plan does not cover. Does this really make sense to anyone or sound like a good idea?

Your Web site is looking great! Have the Police Blotter entries increased? They say there is an inverse relationship between the economy and crime. Would you consider adding a total (number) to the bottom of the list?

For any of you trying to get a GA 2009 Individual Tax booklet, forget calling the number on the postcard, they only sent one of the three we requested, and it took 26 days to arrive. Now the phone wait times are 30 - 45 minutes just to order a booklet which they then won't send! I called the Governor's Office at 404 656-1776. Was given the phone number to the Commissioner's Assistant. She sent the Tax Booklets right out. No wait on the phone either. Maybe if enough folks complain about the shoddy customer service to the Governor's Office, he will fix the mess.