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Newton Poll - 04-09-11

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.

With Dr. Mathews trimming the payrolls of the school system, I wish he would evaluate some of the leadership staff's mastery of the English language at our schools. It is embarrassing to read some of the wordings, phraseology, and misspellings in the emails and memos that are generated.

"If the SPLOST fails, those lost funds for "have-to" needs must come from the county's general fund. And if the money isn't there, guess where the county will go to get those funds? If you guessed "increased property taxes," you're right. No ifs, ands or buts. So stated Barbara Morgan, a member of the committee to promote SPLOST 2011. Well, it passed (7 percent of registered voters took the time to vote, while an apathetic 93 percent didn't bother!) Now, just a few weeks later, we are told the county is facing further cuts and the millage may have to be raised to 12.12 mills (up from the current 10.91) just to bring in the same amount of revenue as that for the current fiscal year. County officials have submitted their initial requests totaling more than $50 million dollars, $7 million dollars more than expected revenues for next fiscal year. Just what I expected. How about you?

First, I am neither for or against the purchase of the railroad. I don't think anyone has all the facts on the strengths or weaknesses of the purchase and a wise decision cannot be made until we have all the facts. Second, no one suggested that anyone force you to take down the signs (violating your First Amendment). I am only pointing out that putting out as many signs as possible (often multiple signs for property owned by single owner) leads to our county looking like one large trailer park. I would rather see the issue decided by facts rather than by both sides throwing up signs that junk up our county. The reality is that most people who care already have made up their mind and your signs aren't going to change it one way or the other.

Hey Chop, your writings are starting to sound like a book written by Joe Willie Namath - "I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow Cause I Get Better Looking Every;" The punch counter punch guy.

I reread the comments of the retiree who moved here in the 1990s and saw nothing asinine about them. IMO that person simply stated the duties of a law enforcement officer is to "Protect and Serve" -- those words on their badge and in the oath they take and their visibility within the community. Apparently, this person only saw them around and about during the film making activities. Just for the record it has been a long time since I have seen a CPD officer pull over some of those many high speed racers on 278 (part of policing as you say) but I did see a Newton County deputy pull over one on 278 near 142 and the sheriffs department only has four deputies assigned to traffic control and much larger geography and more people to "Protect and Serve." Hmmmm.

Drove around the infamous Turner Lake turn about (or circle) this week. It seems someone forgot to budget for the extra cost of cutting the grass and weeds in the middle -- potential traffic hazard. Many of the weeds appear to be very high, near 2 feet - a potential traffic hazard. What a shame to waste all that money and inconvenience to build it with all those light poles, etc. and now we don't want keep it looking nice. Bet if it was located on Floyd Street or nearer to the Square it wouldn't look like that and get a street sweeper treatment every other day! Whatcha' think?

To the person that hates the "No Trails For Rails" signs, you must be for it. The other side has the right to protest it. And what about the "Yes on Splost" sign that was hung in the right of way on Cook Road. It was 4 feet by 4 feet and nailed to a tree. My home has turned into a slum. and it you can't see it, you must be blind or a Democrat. "Thank you" to all the implants. You have destroyed the place I was born and raised!

I have to believe that the people making such negative comments about our police department are friends and relatives of those who were not promoted.

Tonight a Sheriff's deputy's short siren caused the light bulb in my brain to flash bright lights!!! He stopped a speeder on Highway 36 in front of my house. Shortly thereafter it happened again! Bravo, Deputy Whoever. Now to the guts of this story ... the county is slowly allowing our commissioners to send us to the poor house with their spending practices ... otherwise, known as catering to Pappy Mort and the good ole boys. WHAT IF our Sheriff stationed deputies along Highway 36 on a regular 24-hour basis and caught all the speeders AND gave them all a ticket that must be paid. Our county could once again have a surplus of cash, we would have a safer Highway 36, and we could thank more deputies for saving lives on 36! Needless to say, a lot of us have lost confidence in our county commissioners.

Well, it seems what we thought is actually coming true. The commissioners are saying we have another budget shortage and the millage rate will have to be raised. While the value of my house is going down the taxes are still going up. Why don't they take some of the SPLOST money Mort had allocated for his cow barn and J. C. had put in for his playgrounds and use it for what the county really needs? Guess that would make too much sense.

In response to the Bible verse saying that God would forgive our sins, that there is nothing to do with elections, continue on. The final part of II Chronicles 7:14 says that "He will heal the land." That verse has nothing to do with the dirt of the ground. It is pertaining to politicians, union thugs and on and on and on. There has been a problem with politicians, whether on the local level or in Washington a lot longer than the Bushes and as far as the unions are concerned, I was involved with the unions in Wisconsin in the '70s and even at that time they were getting too big for their britches. I say its about time they were put in their place and that place is not being any better than anyone else. If a non-union worker is getting paid X dollars to do a job, just because a person is paying dues to legal gangsters, they don't deserve more. Goodbye and may God bless our land.

We paid all that money for the roundabout it looks like someone could cut the grass! Have the inmates clean up the trash along the roadways instead of the Square. It is a disgrace having our county looking like this with all the film crews here.

I would like to thank all those who work for the power companies and phone companies as well as public safety for all of the hard work done this week to help us recover from the storm. Your hard work is much appreciated. We realize your sacrifices and the risks you make to enable us to be safe and have the comforts we are used to having. You are all to be commended for everything you do.

I would like to make a few comments on the current search being conducted to fulfill the pending vacancy in the fire chief's office. It seems the city has taken a new approach not only with departmental promotions but also with the process of filling vacancies. In the recent weeks we have witnessed the chief of police make promotions based on friendships and the "Who you know philosophy." This manner of promoting is not what he has preached for years to his employees or to the mayor and council. Statements were made that his command staff would be highly educated and that if his officers would have to obtain degrees if they wanted to be part of this staff. So, the city jumped on board and has spent several thousand dollars on master's degrees along with many officers that have spent countless hours away from home to pursue their dream of becoming part of the command staff. Instead they have been rewarded with a good old-fashion slap in the face. The employees holding degrees are now answering to the employees that do not hold degrees. Now it seems as if the position of fire chief could possibly be filled the same way if the process is manipulated as well. Certain people would like nothing better than to go outside to fulfill this vacancy with a friend instead of promoting a qualified applicant that has been serving the city for almost 20 years. By reading the bios posted in the paper, it appears that all three applicants are somewhat equally qualified with one exception. Deputy Chief David Carter is currently employed by the city and has first hand knowledge that only someone on the inside would know. This alone should set him apart from the other two candidates. But if it doesn't, lets discuss why the City would look outside the renegade department in the first place. Maybe its because the ISO rating for the city has increased. Nope, under the current command staff the city's ISO rating has dropped to a "3" saving tax payers thousands and making the city look better to Industry wanting to locate here. Or it could be the department is understaffed to fulfill its duties. No to that one as well, the department has added an additional station and doubled in manpower under the current command staff. Or it could the be the department doesn't have any organization and is just plain running wild. Good try, but the department was internationally accredited in 2003 and has just gone through the reaccreditation process which is performance based. The best reason for going outside is so certain people can continue to utilize the "Good Ol' Boy" system to their advantage. Bingo!!!! You got it. I'll give you just one more example; the last two vacancies at Covington Fire Department have been influenced and/or decided by relationships from the powers that be at City Hall. Don't believe me? Then check it out for yourself. In closing I would just like to say if you need a job, please attend church, be related to or befriend some of the powers that be in Covington and you will go far!

I was calling about Darrell Huckaby's column in last Wednesdays paper. I couldn't agree with him more. I think he was right on the money. I think that it is pathetic that people running around boasting about what a nice guy he was after he done what he done. Just a cop killer. That's it. I couldn't agree with him more.

This in reference to last Saturdays headline "The county faces more budget problems." In Friday's edition there was an article about the county participating in building a community center in the Walker Bend subdivision. Why should the county be involved in a project in a subdivision. I, too, have a budget problem. I exist on a fixed income and with prices on goods and services increasing daily, I have to cut out a lot of activity I need to do but cannot due to increased prices. I voted yes for the SPLOST in hopes of this making a fair tax that all residents would participate in. So, county commissioners do like many of us are having to do. Spend only what you have sufficient funds for. Tighten your belt up a few notches. Do the job you were elected to do.

I would like to make a comment on the Newton County School System. With all the budget cuts and the teachers being left high and dry without all the help and the things they need for the classroom, transportation is at a premium. I don't understand why my child's bus crosses the bridge into Henry County to pick up a student every morning. Are there not schools in Henry County that could meet his needs? Why are our taxpayers paying for his education? Also, I went to the clinic at Alcovy and I was surprised there were students working in the clinic counting medicines, dispensing medicines, and I thought that was suppose to be done by a licensed professional. What is going to happen when a child gets a wrong medicine? This is really a concern to me.