Newton Poll - 06/05/2010

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. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.

"Hello Citizen, I would like to thank the Citizen for correcting me last week. I sent an e-mail with a misspelled word. The misspelled word was bonfire. I spelled it bond fire. Pretty much what I said was that we should have a bonfire for rap. We should all thank the Citizen for correcting us. In the e-mail I stated that rap was the lowest, most idiotic, raunchiest form of music known to the human race. I sent that e-mail to the Citizen before the rapper in Griffin was shot and killed, and all the witnesses got on TV news and proved my point. I would like to invite the citizens that support this kind of music to listen to the music of yesterday. Yesterday's music wasn't completely pure, but it left something to the imagination so we could go where we wanted to go with the music. There are so many types of music like country, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues -- I could go on forever. There's no excuse for listening to rap. So why don't we have a bonfire and invite rap."

"In watching the Covington TV Channel's coverage of City Council meetings -- I see where the Turner Lake roundabout has been approved and they only lack a few minor details before construction begins. What a fiasco this is going to end up being. I'm glad the city of Covington will be responsible for maintaining and the upkeep of this intersection. It's going to end up being a nightmare. Y'all voted for 'change' - and by golly - you got it!"

"In response to the person who found the ATM card, I recently had a similar experience. I found an ATM card, issued by Wachovia, in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. I did not feel comfortable turning the card into Customer Service, because you just really do not know who is honest these days. I took the card and dropped it in the night deposit box at Wachovia since the bank was closed. I called Wachovia the next day to let them know, and they said they would handle it from there. I'm not sure how things went from there, but I do hope that I was able to help keep a bank account from being drained."

"Can someone please tell me why the Newton County BOE wants to raise my taxes and yet they have been paying $7,500 to use Church in the Now for graduations? Why not make some cuts before raising my taxes -- it wasn't my idea to spend money pointlessly!"

"I completely support Sheriff Brown 100 percent. I don't think the average citizen (including our commissioners) has any idea how much crime there is in our county. If the commissioners cause us to lose the very people who are trying to protect us, I will insist the paper print all their home phone numbers so we can call them every time we need a deputy. For them to try and cut the Sheriff's Department is just ludicrous!"

"I'm just a concerned citizen of Newton County and I hope what I am reading in the paper is not true. Don't all of you understand that we very much need a police and fire department which enables us to live with some security. Don't make a big mistake. We need the fire and police as bad as we need any department in this county. You can't do anything if you don't have some kind of security. Think about it."

"I and my eighth-grader attended an open house at Newton County High School for incoming freshmen. A group of girls in very skimpy costumes that left little to the imagination danced in a very provocative way. It was not entertaining. It was indecent. I was shocked. We and other parents walked out. This is not what I want my child exposed to. I wonder that the administration approved an exhibition like that. Something needs to be done."

"Kathy Morgan is exactly right in calling for a rollback rate. The budget cuts necessary in this economy are necessarily draconian and will pain this county for years to come. At a minimum, the rollback rate should be voted in order to bring in another $2.7 million to stem the deficit. If it is all to go to the Sheriff's Department and court system, be sure, of course, to insist on accountability for every penny to be spent. It's almost an obligation for all of us to put our shoulder to the wheel -- and pay a pittance more in taxes -- to help our community weather this storm."

"There is a simple solution to the school situation where all the teachers and school workers can keep their jobs. Start charging all people who have kids in school a school tax. Don't just put the burden on people who try to have a home. There are more kids in school who come from rental properties and they are getting a free ride. Set an amount per child and see how much revenue there would be. This might help (stop) some people having so many children and cut back on welfare."

"When I woke up this morning I was in America but for some reason I have had to continuously press 1 for English. I don't understand this, and I am sure there are a lot of people who don't understand this. There is also the Hispanic girl that was caught in college going illegally and they are making such a scoop about her. Should she be able to finish school, no she shouldn't be able to. She is here illegally, her parents are here illegally and they should send them back."

"The worldwide economic meltdown continues to take its toll on Newton County. Commission Chair Kathy Morgan has wisely asked commissioners to consider a rollback of the millage rate to maintain our public safety and keep the court system fully functional. Raising taxes has been made a big no-no in partisan politics, but it is time to put the partisanship aside, put thoughts and concerns about upcoming or future electability aside, and do the right thing. The last thing we need in Newton County is an increase in crime and the release of some accused because the courts can't handle the load."

"I totally agree that there are some wonderful, incredible teachers who have a passion for what they do. There are also wonderful social workers, firefighters, policemen, insurance agents, etc. All who are highly qualified for their jobs. But, in terms of teachers' pay, you are paid for nine months a year and have lots of days off (the same as your children) and quite a few personal days (way more than most other jobs). If you want to receive more pay, then work 12 months a year. Firefighters work on their days off, which is wonderful that they can have a second career while working as a firefighter. Teachers, too, can work a second job in the summer. Instead of complaining about not being paid for 12 months work when you work nine, take advantage of the opportunity to have a second career or do something really fun for pay in the summer. Not many people have the chance to do that."

"Teaching is one of the few professions that allows you to work nine months a year, keep a similar schedule to your children, take your children to school at the same location you are going every day, raise your salary based on education and not by increasing expectations or workload, and have a totally new group of co-workers (the students) every year. Are there frustrations? Absolutely. But, you should be thankful for the positive aspects of the job and stop complaining to those who make less, have fewer benefits, have to pay for child care because their schedule doesn't match that of their child's, doesn't have summers off to spend time with their family, works 50 weeks a year, and can go to school for any level of education desired without it affecting their pay."

"The county could save money if they'd take some of these salaried employees and make them hourly employees. They lose somewhere on the average of two hours per day by the time these people get into the office 45 minutes late, take two-hour lunches, and then leave anywhere from an hour to 30 minutes early to get to their child's activities, go work out, etc. The county might be getting 30 hours a week out of them. And these are employees who aren't emergency personnel, aren't on call, don't attend meetings after work, etc. Frankly, the only salaried personnel in the county should be directors -- and even that's questionable."

"It is interesting that the school board said 'parents just need to be patient' in terms of having a middle school theme component. Obviously, the board doesn't realize that the children who are left hanging with no place to attend school for next year aren't going to freeze their education and wait on them to put the middle school theme back in place."

"I wish to thank the person who received our car tag. The county sent one tag without the other one and sent the most important one to an unknown person. They in turn sent it to us and said it would get to us faster, than going through the mail back to the county. Thank you to some honest folks still left in this country. Hard to find anymore."

"Let me tell you what burns me up. For years the BOC has complained about real estate signs posted in the rights of way. But when election time comes they post their signs in the right of way against the county code. A code they swore an oath to uphold. If they cannot keep their oath, why should we keep them. I saw a dozen signs in the western part of the county by a member of the BOC. And it's not just him. State Senate, Congress, BOE and dog catcher. OK, I made the last one up. They all do it, and our county code enforcement will not do anything when you call. You cannot blame them; they're just trying to keep their job. I am making two challenges: One, to Chairperson Morgan -- Enforce the code. Next, to the Citizen: Expose those who are doing this on both sides. Send a reporter out and drive around. Ask people to report where violations are at. We expect our leaders to follow the laws they pass. Let's make sure they do."

"I would like to ask the person who thinks the volunteer fire departments get all this fire tax money of $600,000. You better recheck your resources! The volunteer fire departments here in Newton County do get some money but just enough to replace some tools after they are worn out and need to be replaced. Volunteer firefighters run the same amount of calls as our paid firefighters. It sounds like you don't like the volunteer firefighters here in Newton County when they do as much if not more than some of the paid firefighters. I've seen some paid just standing around and all the volunteers were doing what they are told to do. So if you don't like the volunteers then you should move somewhere else then."

"The recent graduations at Heritage High School and Rockdale High School were a huge letdown to the parents and students who worked so hard. The weather clearly stated there would be thunderstorms. At Heritage HS, the parents and families were left on the bleachers for quite some time with lightning above. There was no organization and no one in charge. The crowd was finally told to go inside to the gym, where we expected to go inside for the graduation ceremonies. Again, no one was in charge or told anyone anything. We were finally told to go back to the stadium. Some of the older family members could not run across a football field two times, much less once. Some had to leave as they could not do this and could not see their grandchildren graduate. The children were given their diplomas so quickly, it didn't seem like they graduated. It was sad that there was absolutely no organization and no one in charge of the situation that had already been forecasted. The students worked hard to graduate, the least the school system could have done was be organized."

"Four people have died in the last 12 months at Factory Shoals? Why hasn't the county posted 'no swimming' signs instead of the 'swim at your own risk' signs posted now?