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Newton Poll - 04-02-11

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.

"I have to admit that granddaddy Mort Ewing, Padawan Tim Fleming and the haplessly naive ... J.C. Henderson compose the most fortunate and haphazardly brilliant trio of local political hacks I have heard of. In 2011 Newton County Commissioners Ewing, Fleming and Henderson conspired to hold ... meetings of no more than two so as to avoid the letter and spirit of the Georgia Open Meetings Act, where they could negotiate on how to spend the $50-plus million of new SPLOST funding. ... (they formed a) 'voting majority block' of three Newton County commissioners so that they decided on how to apportion and distribute over $50-plus million in new SPLOST funding, including millions of dollars for their own pet pork projects. Of course, this would leave the other two Newton County commissioners, Sims and Schulz, voted out of any decisions and, in fact, left them out of any say in the decision process. These facts were made known to all voters well before an affirmation democratic vote on the SPLOST .... and the majority did not care, at least not enough to vote no to Ewing, Fleming and Henderson."

"Another Georgia police officer killed in the line of duty. Where are the comments now about the Covington PD officers making too much? They should all have their pay immediately doubled for placing their lives daily to make our town a better and safer place."

"I am one of the retirees who moved to Covington in the late 1990s. I have been very pleased with the people, the churches, and the merchants. Since I have been here I have seen nothing to praise concerning the Covington Police Department. Their functions should be to prevent crimes, to solve crimes, and protect the citizenry. They seem to be lacking in all of these aspects. They seem to think all they have to do is hold public events and chase movie crews. They seem to have very little 'public trust.' I, for one, would not even report a dog fight to them. They may come back later on and say that I had reported it wrong; that it was really a cat fight and they were going to prosecute me."

"I support the rights of proponents and opponents of the rails to trails argument to civilly debate the merits of their opinions anywhere. But the 'No Rails To Trails' signs littering the county are obnoxious and make our county look like a trailer park. Many of the signs are in the right of way. It is like an election season that never ends and the signs never come down. I wish the topic would be decided with reason, logic, planning and facts rather than with who can litter and deface our county with the most signs."

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"The article on March 18 about Chief Cotton making changes to his command staff generated 19 comments. The majority of them showed surprise that some of his choices were not one of the officers that had obtained a degree paid for by the city. I heard that one was a recently rehired employee. So I guess there is no longer an expectation that higher command positions will require an advanced degree as proclaimed by Chief Cotton several years ago. Also that longevity and dedication may not matter. I was informed that the master's degrees officers obtained were paid for with funds from a seized drug money account. At roughly $10,000 a pop that had to be very expensive. Someone told me that the city does not have an incentive level for the master's degrees, although police officers would get promotion points on advancement tests. So why was there such a big push. Why were there news articles with pictures showing the officers holding up degrees that they had received. Are all 50-something officers going to get a master's degree paid for from this fund or by the city general fund. Paid for in full according to rumors. That's a lot of money even if it comes from the drug fund. Have any of you driven by the police station lately? Where are all of the police cars? Could those funds not buy some more police cars? I'm just saying that after reading those 19 comments it got me thinking. What's the next great thing going to be. Requiring the officers to complete programs and spend money for them. Then turning around and canceling the reasons for the expense in the first place. That may get costly."

"To the person who added the Bible verse -- I have known about the Lord's ways since I could walk. And your verse says He will forgive your sins -- not win elections -- if He cared about elections, He would never have let George Bush and his henchmen win!"

"This is Chop! This is in response to the competitive boxer who wrote in the poll on the 26th. First of all, wash your mouth out sir. Now your boxing instructor taught you very well. I left an opening and you slipped a jab. I'm OK, though. I will, however, counter your boxing career with my 1985 Porterdale leg wrestling championship belt. That's right folks, at one time I was the most feared competitor on the leg wrestling circuit. I hold numerous titles and world records in the middle weight and light heavy class. I hold the most consecutive wins and the fastest win. Due to injury I had to retire early and now I reside in Covington. Some have even said that I was the Dusty Rhodes of leg wrestling, a legend. Many of you did not know you lived in the same city as a leg wrestling legend."

"I have been reading about the trial of Cobey Lakemper recently but not in the Newton Citizen. Why is it this paper doesn't think a death penalty trial and the murder of a lifelong Newton County resident isn't important enough to cover? I was there the first day and I saw a reporter from your paper and she went in and out of the courtroom four or five times and hasn't returned since."

Editor's note: The Citizen covered the opening arguments in the case and will follow up with the conclusion. However, due to the length of the trial proceedings we felt it better to apply our reporting resources to other stories rather than have a reporter assigned to one story for weeks.

"Many of us (and I am one) seem to get real 'peeved' when we see someone park in a handicapped parking space and run into the store or at least walk real fast. Many of those folks have an apparently all-too-easy-to-get handicapped license tag or have borrowed someone's hang tag or made a color copy of a hang tag (you know the ones that are kinda' curly looking when hung on a rear view mirror.) I have the perfect solutions for those that 'must park' in a handicapped parking place without any apparent physical issue other than they just don't like exercise or maybe have an other than physical issue (which might signal they shouldn't be driving in the first place). The solutions are simple, they are: 1.) start enforcing the $1,200 fine printed on those blue signs (government needs the money and by the looks of many, but not all, of the vehicles they are driving they won't miss it). This might put an end to it; 2.) mark all the parking spaces in a all the parking lots handicapped. Then everyone can be happy (except those that don't like to walk a little but don't really care about those that need to park close to the store) and they won't have to put up those signs and posts. What say you?"

"To the person complaining about the anti Rails to Trails signs: I for one call this freedom of speech and/or expression. Those who have one in their yard, I applaud them. I want to know where I can get one. Just this morning I drove in towards the Square on Floyd Street (a nice looking street for the most part) from 278. The first sign I saw was a rather large canvas sign that read 'This Space for Lease' (kinda not too good looking IMO); further down by the library and health clinic several signs directing people to the heath center to get flu shots (hmmm flu season is over, me thinks, it's allergy time), and further down Floyd a small white/red 'For Rent' sign (it has been there many months) and before the last election many pro SPLOST signs decorated Floyd Street all the way to the Square. Why haven't you commented on these signs but waited to comment on the one that is protected by our Constitution? Maybe a pro Rail to Train person, eh?"

"TV stations/reporters are now jumping into situations as they progress, e.g. Jamie Hood's arrest, Egypt and Libya revolts, etc. While this can be good, we need to be aware that we are seeing only part of the story and that can only sometime be obtained with digging through the facts and corroborating evidence -- something totally ignored by TV's insistence on immediate answers but consistently practiced by newspapers. Perhaps it's because of tradition, but more likely, if it's in print and on record, the libel laws apply. Unfortunately, the newspaper is becoming the 'buggy whip' in the modern generation of Internet/TV/cell phone news."

"To the thugs that burglarized our neighbors' home on March 21: (1) Did you and your co-conspirators really not see their plainly visible security signs on the property? (2) Your white van and small white truck did not go unnoticed. The entire neighborhood now knows of your vehicles, Newton County Sheriff's office knows, and now -- so do a large number of local residents, via this column."

"Citizens ... remember when Paul Harvey would end his messages by saying, '... and now, the rest of the story.' Try this. Turn on your TV, to any news program, and listen to the journalists. But, before you begin listening, turn your back to the screen. I guarantee that you will not be able to tell the difference between a white American, a black American, a Japanese-American, an Indian-American, and so on. Why? Because they speak clear, proper English (no, I'm not an English teacher). This is not the same as a person that speaks with an accent from another country. So, why does this matter? Students' test scores and adult job applications these days have never been more important. Low test scores and unimpressed employers can often shape our near and distant futures. Reading, writing, understanding and speaking our language correctly, can create higher test scores and provide more positive first impressions."

"My child has been educated in the Newton County schools trailer park while the fat cat board and superintendent are put in the Four Posted Plantation House. We know how they feel about our children."

"My two-week boycott of Newton County totals: Rockdale spent $845.23; DeKalb $165.48; Fulton $486.39; Morgan $357.15; Newton $45 (for a) water bill; Snapping Shoals $64.85. I stopped buying gas at Flash Foods and groceries at Publix. I started going to the Walmart and Lowes in Conyers and shopping at Stonecrest. In the past I spent 80 percent of my hard-earned money in Newton County. Mort does not respect the third and the second districts, so my house will not pay the tax, so build your cow museum but not with my money.""To the nitwit who proved my point by writing this stupid statement: 'To the person who thinks Republicans are stupid: You sound like you might be in teaching.' How on earth did you deduce this? No, I am not a teacher, just a highly educated person who is tired of watching my fellow citizens continue to vote against their own best interests every time."

"Don't forget to pay your taxes -- multi-national, billion dollar corporations need your money to make record profits while not paying a dime in taxes here in the U.S. Some poor sucker's gotta pay so it may as well be you!"

"This past Saturday I took the firearms class that the Covington Police Department offers to citizens. I feel much more confident with the handling of a gun now. I wanted to let Sgt. Arvo Bowen, Sgt. Ryan Ralston, and Capt. Craig Treadwell know that they did a fantastic job. Also, Capt. Ken Malcom did a great job with the self-defense presentation. The class was very well organized. Before taking the class, I was trying to figure out why it would take seven hours to learn how to shoot a gun. But, I quickly realized that there was much more than aiming and shooting. I now know that there is much to know about a gun, bullet types, laws, safety, the proper stance when firing a gun, how to clean a gun (which I really don't care to do again) and the meaning of TKO and UCM. You will have to take the class to find out what the last two are. I am very pleased with the outcome and my confidence with a gun now. I highly recommend this class for both men and women. This class is also at no charge to you. Thank you, Covington Police Department, for doing a great job every day."

"To the person who moved here in the late 1990s. Wow! Did you really make those asinine comments? You obviously have no concept of what policing really consists of!"

"What has happened to all the unused railroad tracks being covered up?"

"There are still good people in the world and several of them travel Highway 36 every day. These people are kind enough to slow up to let me out of my driveway in the morning, and I want them to know how much this is appreciated."

"I think it is interesting that WSB and 11-Alive news have reported on the town of Newborn's gun ordinance but you, our local paper haven't. I contacted you a few weeks ago with concerns over this issue. Do you ever come to Newborns council meetings?"

Editor's note: The Newton Citizen has reported on the gun ordinance twice. One story ran on March 22 and the other in our March 29 edition.