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"Well Newton County residents get ready for a whirlwind. It's rather scary and upsetting to think that we can lay off deputies, fire fighters and other county staff and not consider reducing the number of county commissioners! If they were fiscally responsible one of the first things they should have looked at were their own jobs. Why couldn't we reduce to three commissioners and save the salary dollars of the other three? Read in the paper today that Sheriff Brown has to lay off 22 deputies -- that's right 22. They are already running short staffed and now it's going to be worse. Not only is it dangerous for the community but for the deputies as well. I have a family member that is a deputy and it's very scary to know what goes on in the county that some people never hear about because these people are putting themselves in danger every day when they walk out the door. For the person that said something about them using their personal cell phones -- well guess what, the radio system they have stinks and there are areas that it doesn't work well so their cell phones (that they pay for) are their only link to back-up! With the reduction in force look for the crime rate to increase and when you call 911 -- how long will it take them to respond. There have also been comments about the lack of patrol in some areas -- when you are short-handed on the road (some nights only three to five deputies for the entire county) they can't be everywhere so they have to concentrate on the higher crime areas. How many people would have approved a SPLOST tax to cover public safety (policy and fire) to ensure that when you call -- someone will be able to respond. Maybe we should pass a law like Kennesaw -- everyone has to own a gun. Give these public servants a break -- they make very little as it is protecting and serving us and now we want to cut the funds to reduce their safety -- makes me sick!"
"Interesting fact: More peace activists were killed by the Israelis on the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza than Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets in 10 years."
"Can the Citizen obtain information from the BOE as to how many illegal immigrants' children and children from other counties are enrolled in Newton County schools? Why are the homeowners being held responsible for these children's education? Maybe there would be no reason for a tax increase if the NCSS would send these children packing."
"Great news that Mr. McKibben and Councilman Whatley took charge and have arranged for festivities to be held on our Square on the third of July. Thanks to the city of Porterdale for taking over the fireworks celebration on the Fourth. Where is our Main Street director?"
"Did you know? Due to bad publicity resulting from killing nine peace activists, the Israeli blockade of Gaza is supposed to be loosened. As part of the 'security' blockade, the ban is expected to remain on items such as cement and steel desperately needed to build and repair the thousands of homes devastated by Israel's attack 18 months ago. This blockade has been going on for four years."
"Darrell Huckaby should get his facts straight. The BP money will be paid out by the same person who administered claims after 9/11, not Obama or any of his administration. Or perhaps Huckaby thinks taxpayers should pay for BP's mess?"
"Turner Lake roundabout -- What a disaster. This was a 'visionary' project by those who are developing the 'Grove' located on Clark Street at Turner Lake Road. We are all so sick of these 'visionaries'' disasters. It's time to give them all the boot. Roundabouts are deservedly hated everywhere they exist, but alas, 'somebody' needed a cute entrance to the development next door, at the expense of the taxpayers and the inconvenience of every driver who uses the roads in Covington and Newton County. First: Open back up the street from Washington Street to Brown Bridge Road and do it now ... at the very least it will save two business owners, those two service stations who now have no business, and allow for school buses to have an alternate route while wrecks are being cleared from the roundabout. These people have angered us all quite enough. I say send them all packing. Oh, but we will have a neat little place to plant some flowers in the middle of the roundabout. Geez that makes it all worthwhile."
"Concerning the oil spill, there's one group that seems to have been ignored: indirectly, the influential environmentalists of this nation are partially responsible for this debacle. From what I've read, had it not been for overzealous environmental restrictions, there would have been no need to drill 5,000 feet under the Gulf of Mexico. Shallower waters and land areas could have been used. This is not to reduce the criticism of BP; after all, they saved a lot of money when they failed to install proper safety devices while constructing the well. And our government is at fault for not requiring replacement of inadequate safety devices, which was known previous to this disaster. Our economy depends on oil, not flashlight batteries. It's time for our regulatory agencies to got their act together!"
"Has any of the people that live in downtown Covington ventured over to the west side of the county that is Salem Road and that area? This area of the county has just dropped to the bottom of the barrel. We talk about smart growth. Where was smart growth when all this was happening to the west side of the county? Nobody wants to live over there but the thugs and it almost seems like it is not part of Newton County. It is a piece of another county we just call Newton County. It gets no attention; it gets no recognitions; renovation ; it gets nothing. We just seem to focus on the little area of city of Covington and maybe those who live in and around the city of Covington and I just think more attention should be paid to the west side of the county because these people aren't going anywhere and eventually they are going to come invade the little safe haven of the little town of Covington if you don't do something about it. I just wonder what Smart Growth has up their sleeve ... because obviously they didn't do anything to have Smart Growth on the western side of the county."
"I would sincerely like to thank Commissioners Earnest Simmons, Nancy Schulz and J. C. Henderson for voting for the rollback on the millage rate. Having done that they probably saved 60-plus jobs in the county. They probably saved mine. I want to thank them for that. I am sorry Mort Ewing and Tim Fleming are more worried about getting re-elected than people's livelihoods. That is a shame. But, thank you to the others."
"The Sheriff's Office needs to be cut; there is a lot of waste. All county employees drive their own vehicles back and forth to work. The deputies drive county cars back and forth home and also use personal cars, some show up at churches, restaurants, outside of Newton County. These are not on business because they meet their families. This is a waste. The cars should be left at the county and driven by the next shift. Porterdale uses their cars for all three shifts. If the county was run that way we could save lots of money. You can always find a deputy or maybe three parked in a church yard talking with motors running, wasting gas, sometimes they sit there for hours doing paperwork. ... You need to clean house and get deputies that want to work and stop all the waste of gas. Times are hard. It is time to tighten to the sheriff's budget too."
Editor's note: Porterdale police officers are allowed to drive their police cars home.
"This is about the trucks parked everywhere in Newton County. I would like to know why the Board of Commissioners or the Newton County Sheriff's Office does nothing about this. You have trucks parked on the sides of roads, in housing developments, in off streets, shopping centers, but you call the police and tell them and they do nothing about it. You get the Board of Commissioners always saying it is against restrictions to do so."
"We planted a boot heel right on the backsides of the American Indians. Remember? A good many of these American Indians fled into what is now Mexico. Remember? We have always been an America that welcomed 'the masses.' Isn't that written somewhere on some statue in some harbor? We're the ones that imposed ourselves on American soil. I am an American, white one too, born here and proud to be here. Try to imagine what life would be so horrible that you would risk your child's life to come to America. It is obvious that my ancestors took a boat ride to America. Have you ever considered, the people leaving Mexico are just coming home? Chances are their ancestors were here when mine arrived looking for a better life. Were they thinking, Why would they risk their lives? Or was it 'Well there goes the neighborhood'?"
"I'm sorry that you can't accept that the majority of the American people voted for Obama. The 77.7 percent of American people and only 68.5 percent American people eligible to vote, didn't. Those people weren't blind, they're just dumb (no voice). The loss of jobs, the increase in our national debt are the result of economic policies of the previous administration and greed. Let's give the man longer than 18 months to lead us out of the hole we're in, OK?"