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Newton Poll - 04-30-11

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 these suggestions for the Board of Education to save some money so our children aren't suffering. First of all, they don't need to have graduation at Church in the Now and pay $8,000 for each graduation. That is $24,000 for all the high schools. Also, why doesn't the people from the top, including the superintendent, take a cut in their big, big salaries? Also, I went to school there was one principal and one assistant principal. I don't see the need for more than one vice principal."

Editor's note: According to information provided by the school system, Church in the Now is paid $3,000 for each graduation, or $9,000 total.

"Enough is enough. I am one of the senior citizens who detest the city of Covington. We bought a lot and built a house in the Town and Country subdivision over 35 years ago. This subdivision takes in Farmington, Crestview and parts of Conyers and Dearing streets. I was late for an appointment this past Saturday morning because runners, ambulances and policemen had my street blocked. Barricades were put up and you couldn't get in or out of the subdivision. This mess has been going on in my neighborhood for many years ... "

"This is Old Pothole here. I love it when the queen of Newton County sends her driveway scraping and pothole crew out. They fill one hole but they leave me alone 10 feet away. It takes five of them one and a half hours to fill my friend. He was only 3 inches deep and 1 foot across. Well no chance I will be filled for another six months. Maybe I will get lucky. My friend the pothole down the street, all the asphalt came out of him in three days and now there are two of us again. Good job Kathy, way to cut the fat out of government."

"In response to the pollster who commented on banks paying property taxes on foreclosures, little known fact is the banks do pay taxes on all properties they own. Banks even pay to market, clean, landscape and for utilities to all those properties also. So rather than beat up the banks for owning them, why not ask some of your quality friends to buy the properties. If your friend's phone number starts with a DeKalb extension they used to own the property and probably live in your home now. If not, Newton County would love to have them as your neighbor."

"This is Chop; I want to respond to the sophomore student at Eastside High School. Quit school. Why are you wasting your time. It seems you already know everything. I threw up in my mouth when I read that liberal garbage you wrote in the poll on 4-23. Here are a few facts for you: Crude oil as of today $112.29; unemployment state of Georgia is 10 percent; unemployment at the national level 8.8 percent. As of March 25, 2011, total public debt outstanding of the United States was $14.26 trillion. This is 97.3 percent of 2010 (GDP). Sorry sophomore, that means gross domestic product -- in other words, goods we produce. In November of 2010 the amount of treasuries owned by Mainland China were $900 billion. One more piece of information: According to professor George Borjas of Harvard's business school, illegal immigrants displaced American workers at a cost of $133 billion. So having said that, it really does seem things are going real well in the country, does it not? I'm taking a shot in the dark, but I'm pretty sure you are an Obama supporter, so when we are all standing in the soup line and you are asked how voting for Obama worked for you? Once asked that, you just say 'Well, I'm sorry. I'm an uninformed sophomore at Eastside. I thought I knew it all, but apparently did not know as much as I thought.'"

"That makes two of us. I am afraid, really afraid too! Have you seen what's going on in Wisconsin and Michigan? Newly elected administrations passing laws curtailing union rights that had been fought for and won decades ago and allowing the appointment of dictatorial local managers who supplant duly-elected local officials while disposing of the locality's assets (ie lakefront property). On the national front, Ryan's budget proposal that does away with Medicare and institutes a voucher program while giving additional tax cuts to the rich is another horror. GE makes billions of profits but pays no taxes. Subsidies are given to big oil who also made billions in profits (besides ruining our Gulf). Oh, btw, our state government is prepared to make us a second Arizona. I suppose we can do without the tourist trade. I'm with you; I'm horrified!"

"The current Covington Police chief does not live on Crestview, never has."

"About the lady in Fairview Chase subdivision who baits/traps and turns in family pet cats/dogs into animal control. Thankfully she is not my neighbor! I have had as many as six 'in and out' cats at a time. Even the ones with claws have never scratched a car. Perhaps they left footprints that washed off with the next rain -- or when sent through the next car wash. But the car wash scratching my car -- now that is another matter!... Footprints hardly deserve the death penalty."

"This is in response to the nature/animal lover that's so upset about the man catching cats and taking them to animal control. You really don't know how to appreciate animals or nature. There are plenty of people in this county that catch cats because they mess up the food chain in nature by killing rabbits, and mourning doves that hawks and owls prey on. Sometimes your fat house-fed cat just kills small animals to be killing. The truth is cats can't be domesticated like dogs. People should have never bred natural wild cats. They are meant to be left in the wild. My next-door neighbor has a cat that has bit her on the leg twice. Both times her leg has gotten infected. How do you keep something that wants to be in the wild? My trap is set tonight, and if your cat gets in it there are plenty of people that are happy for the rabbits and mourning doves it saves .... "

"The government wants every citizen to prove they are insured -- but people don't have to prove they are American citizens."

"I saw my down-the-street neighbor this weekend. He is a long-time Newton County deputy. I brought up the many recent articles in the newspaper about the school system cutting this and the school system cutting that, and I asked if he had heard anything about what the county has planned for the Sheriff's Office. He turned very glum and told me the Sheriff's Office was already running on a skeleton staff. He said that deputies that work in the jail had taken all 14 of the layoff cuts last year and they were now so short-staffed that posts were not being filled. He said that sometimes when a patrolman arrests someone there was no one in the jail to take the prisoner. They were so short-staffed that all available jail deputies and supervisors were handling prisoners already inside the jail and there was no one to process new prisoners. I asked about the 'brass' and he just looked at me. He said everyone, deputies, supervisors, everyone was pulling duty. There was no one left. He said everyone was working two or three different jobs and have been for several years. There is no one else left. If the commissioners cut the budget again it will have to come from patrol and the detectives, and they are operating on 1990 staff levels. The next step is that you call 911 and unless it is a violent crime, no one comes."

"Let me see if I got this straight. SPLOST funds are divided equally between all the cities in a county and the county, based on population. J. C. Henderson, a Newton County commissioner, has consistently and successfully promoted 'Community Centers' within the Covington city limits, paid for and maintained by Newton County funds, without the city of Covington contributing a penny. Now the city of Covington and J.C. Henderson have proposed another 'Community Center' inside the city of Covington. This time the city of Covington wants to keep their share of the SPLOST money for their own projects, and are demanding Newton County allocate it's SPLOST share of money for another 'Community Center' inside a city of Covington subdivision. Plus they want Newton County federal rehab money to really make the place look nice. The city of Covington has approximately 12,000 people. The other 88,000 Newton County citizens get screwed."

"Questionnaire for Newton County Commissioners: 1) Newton County has a lower starting pay than any city of Covington counterpart, including, road maintenance, firefighter or law enforcement. You, as a job applicant, have a choice of where to apply for and accept a job. Which would rather work for, the city of Covington or Newton County? 2) The city of Covington, by design, reaches maximum pay for all positions within five years. Newton County equivalent jobs do not max out in 30 years. As a Newton County employee, a city of Covington worker will always make more than you, per hour and per year, by thousands and thousands, forever. If a county commissioner tells you their pay is competitive, they are a liar. Which would you rather work for, the city of Covington or Newton County? 3) Newton County pays 4 percent of a workers salary into a stock market fund to support a retirement. Even after working 30 years, can you retire on 4 percent of your salary? In reality, Newton County has no retirement. Even after 20, 30, 40, 50 years, you cannot retire unless you have income from somewhere else."

"Here is a news flash for some older drivers. On ramps are designed to allow vehicles entering the Interstate system to achieve merging speed with the traveling public already on the roadway. In most cases that merging speed is between 70 and 75 MPH. If you are putt-putting along at 55 mph and you are trying to merge with traffic traveling at 75-plus mph, you become the boulder in the river. You think you are a 'safe' driver because you're traveling at a lower speed, but the reason every other person has to go around you is that you are a hazard. You endanger others because of your lack of driving skills."

"Let's have a poll right here, right now. Let's have a vote on the new name of the new SPLOST Newton County Agricultural Center? What are some of the name choices? How about the Mort Ewing 'P-P-P-Porky Pig Center.' Politicians love to see their name forever associated with a project. How about 'Mort's Pork-a-Rama' or you've been 'Porked By Mort' or 'Mort's Pork Palace.'"

"I want to thank your paper for printing citizens' comments concerning the high rate of crime in Covington. My wife and I bought a house on the south side of Covington 19 years ago, and we planned to raise our family there and retire in the house. When I go to work in the morning I now double check the doors to be sure they are locked, and I leave my wife and teenage children a loaded gun. We can't sell the house and move now because of the bad real estate market. A recent expert business consultant told the city of Covington that one of the elements needed to attract industry was to improve on public safety. A 14-year-old boy recently tried to rob a man after midnight with a sawed-off shotgun. These types of crimes seem to be symptoms of an overall drug problem in the city. Instead of buying five new fancy police cars, it would seem more practical to use this money and hire more police officers and put them walking in pairs on the city streets."

"In the paper it read a controlled burn for the Newton County firefighters at the flooded home on Brown Bridge. Actually this is for volunteers only; the career fire fighters will not be able to conduct these exercises. Earlier in the week the career fire fighters tried to conduct training in this particular home but were disciplined for doing so, that this house was for volunteers, not for paid guys. Here again the training needs of the paid fire fighters are not met. Maybe they are trying to tell the paid guys something by allowing the volunteers more training than the paid guys. Just wanted to correct the deputy chief."

Editor's Note: According to Fire Chief Mike Satterfield, a full-time shift of firefighters asked to use the house for training during the week. The request was declined as it would prevent other shifts from getting the benefit of training and disrupt schools in the area, he said. Full-time firefighters are able to attend the training on Saturday but the department does not have funds to pay overtime, Satterfield said, noting that several firefighters have volunteered to attend without pay. There was no disciplinary action taken against the firefighters who requested the weekday training, he said.

"I know it's legal but somehow it just don't seem right. I have done someone's income taxes using a free online package. For the last several years they have paid in between $600 and $700 annually. With two children the EIC has returned over $5,000 each year. It is usually used up in a month's time. This is what is called redistribution of the wealth. How many real taxpayers does it take to accomplish this. If EIC is going to give this money away, it seems to me that to spread it out over a year to better aid someone instead of having it in one big amount would be more advantageous. Where am I wrong?"

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." -Ronald Reagan

"Where is the money from the Porterdale Fire Department fundraisers going? The fire chief continues to have fundraisers ... while they have not been keeping books for their nonprofit for years. The treasurer ... could not produce any books for the last four years during a recent open records request, which is a misdemeanor. How can they keep track of all the cash the public is giving them without a required paper trail?"

"President Obama cannot be 'distracted by the sideshow' involving the debate of his birth certificate. Yet, instead of just showing it during the White House briefing, he and Mrs. Obama take Air Force One and all of the Secret Service to the 'Oprah Winfrey' show? What? Isn't he supposed to be running our country, dealing with unemployment, unrest around the world, the falling dollar, and rising gas prices?"

"Has Charter taken your channels and your channel guide and then wanted $50 installation and $5 more a month for a digital box? That's what they did to me. I'm not paying."

"Apparently getting a promotion at the Covington Police Department doesn't happen through hard work. Getting a promotion only happens if you're buddies with the chief. Your degree or hard work mean nothing!"