Newton Poll - 01-22-2011

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 hope that everyone will educate themselves about who they are voting for in all future elections in Newton County. At current the Board of Commissioners in Newton County is made of a group of self-serving individuals. They spend money on ridiculous projects as if it's no big deal. It's obvious we need a whole new group in when elections roll around. If you don't agree you are keeping your eyes and ears closed to the facts. Mort Ewing is probably the worst commissioner to ever serve, but he apparently has those in his district fooled as he keeps getting reelected for some unknown reason."

"Make you say Hmmmmmm! Do I want my county to clear the driveways of politicians or medical professionals? One tells lies and the other saves lives. A no brainer."

"The recent actions of elected officials, Holt and Morgan and the mayor of College Park, and others I'm sure, simply reaffirm that once some politicians are elected to an office by extolling all those promises to work hard for the people they represent, what they really meant is I will look after your issues, if I have time, because I need to take care of mine first. Further I am amazed I've heard a few -- some as late a Wednesday, Jan. 13 -- say 'now that we have the main roads (and key driveways) are clear, we will clear subdivision streets and back roads in a couple of days.' They forgot to add with a whole lot of help of Mother Nature, as today (Saturday, Jan. 15) the temps are projected to be in the low 50s ... hmmmmm!"

"Did anyone else think it was inappropriate for Clements Theme School and Fairview Theme School to be recognized by the state for improving test scores? Last year, was the first year for both of those schools. They should not be recognized for improving test scores, when all of the teachers/administrators/students are new and the former ones were sent to other schools. The only thing that stayed the same was the building and name. The system we have for recognizing schools is totally unreliable and you cannot accept anything as fact until you research it yourself. By the way, they closed Clements Theme School because the county thought it was a failure -- funny, that the state recognized it as a success."

"I would like to make a comment towards the parent involvement theme school. As a parent of an elementary school child, I keep receiving phone calls telling me that I can now apply for my child to go to the Newton County theme school. My child currently attends a parent involvement school, the name of that school is East Newton Elementary. The parents of East Newton did not have to be asked to sign a contract to volunteer, they do so willingly. The students of East Newton do not have to keep a certain grade level to attend this school; they are only required to try their best and work hard. The teachers are only required to expect hard work and support from the parents and administration of East Newton. I have sent four children through East Newton, all of them are and will continue to be excellent students. I watch weekly as parents volunteer 20-plus hours to the students of East Newton, they ask nothing in return but only the joy of seeing a student finally understanding something that they had once misunderstood. I am aware that not everyone can volunteer in the schools, but if we all do our part as a community, we can see a lot of improvement in all of the schools. I see the theme school as a waste for our school system, the BOE ends up having to beg for applicants, just to fill these classrooms. Teachers and administrators are not begging to be involved in the theme school, either. Maybe the BOE should focus on the schools that are already parent involvement schools. We should be able to make this happen in all of the schools in Newton County. All parents should show an interest in their child's school, volunteer before school starts, volunteer while sitting in the car rider line, volunteer by taking home papers to staple together, cutting things out for a teacher. Everyone can make a difference by giving 10 minutes a day."

"To the lady that graduated from college in the '70s that responded to the post about segregation in schools. The information I found was under wikipedia.com. These are facts, not opinions. When blacks are integrated with whites the test scores are lower overall. This is talking about schools now, not when you were in school around 40 years ago. There were just some students when I was in school that slowed learning for the rest of the students because of no home involvement and no desire to succeed. If I had the choice to put my child in a school that was proven to give my child an advantage to have higher test scores opposed to one where the test scores would be lower, I'd pick the former. But, of course, when half of DeKalb has moved to Covington and the other half from Jamaica, I guess Newton's test scores will continue to be lower, according to the facts I read. Go to Wikipedia.com if you have and know how to use the Internet and research it yourself. Instead of getting emotional let the facts speak for themselves. ... Education is not about how children how treated, it's about learning in a classroom with peers that are on the same level of learning you are on. Your theories may be archaic; however, Wikipedia facts are not archaic. Georgia needs to take whatever lengths it needs to for test scores to improve. The kids that disrupted class were the ones that dropped out anyway. I'm assuming if you went to college in the '70s you are of or almost retirement age and with your high education you could volunteer in the schools to help teach these children."

"Newton County Fire Explorer Post 555 would like to thank everyone that has supported them in their fund raiser the past few weeks. They have been selling doughnuts at the Bypass and Flat Shoals Road. This fund raiser is for a yearly competition/trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn. They will be selling doughnuts for the next couple of weeks if you would like to come help support us on 1/22 and 1/29 at the Bypass and Flat Shoals. Again thank you all!"

"To the person who continues to comment on the local recycling centers always being full. If you are not satisfied with the current situation at the local recycling centers, please remember that this is a privilege for the citizens of Newton County -- yes you pay taxes; however, you are not the only one person that lives in Newton County -- there are thousands of taxpayers in this county that use this privilege too. If you want your own personal garbage pickup -- you can pay to have your garbage picked up at your house and you won't have to go to the local recycling centers. In today's economy, shouldn't you be concerned with more important issues than your garbage disposal anyway -- things such as helping your neighbors pay their bills, hundreds of thousands are out of work, have no food, have no heat in their house and you are concerned with your garbage -- get a life! Me and my kids just delivered a load of firewood to a handicapped lady in a wheelchair that had no heat in her house -- maybe you should spend some time helping someone out and not complaining so much about what you don't have -- it might make you feel better! We have homeless people in this county that would probably be thankful just for the food that you throw away."

"To the person whining about his inconveniences with a local recycle center. Your comments remind me of a young lady that worked for me that was always 15 minutes late getting to work. I wrote her up after several verbal warnings. She was upset and said it was because of the traffic. I simply said get up 15 minutes earlier and leave the house earlier. She said what? Well, here are my suggestions for you.

1. Write down the days and times your center is open. They are posted on the fence. Be certain to make note there are several days the centers are closed.

2. Try going at an earlier time on Sunday.

3. If that doesn't work to your satisfaction, then try going on one or more of the other six days in the week.

4. Try going to another recycle center. There are many throughout Newton County. Can't be that far away. I have three within 4 miles of my house -- the closest is 1.5 miles away.

5. If none of these work for you then, there are 'trash' pick up services available to you, at a fee of course. And don't ask the other taxpayers in Newton County to pay for your 'special' needs."

"Just a little food for thought. As we all heard and/or read about the issues why it was difficult to clean up the snow and ice and the economic impact on businesses. Things like we haven't seen anything like this in 10 or 20 years. For the record, on the weekend of Feb. 29, 2010, Newton County area to Clarke County area did have a 4-6 inch snowfall, that was not in the forecast -- how soon some forget. Getting back, did not hear or read much about the impact on all the hourly paid people that lost the opportunity to earn 60 percent of their weekly income. That is a significant cut in their personal economy and the ability to buy things that generate local and state tax revenues. What say you?"

"What a selfish bunch! I personally really like my mail lady and paper delivery girl. Why should we expect others to risk possible injury so some bills and a stack of junk mail can be delivered? Everyone did the best they could. If I do not get mail or my newspaper for a few days, that's fine. Why not drive to the nearest store and buy the newspaper yourself? Oh yes, the DOT said to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency. (Some businesses were open and some papers made it to the local stores.) Instead of looking for things to complain about, let's thank those who are out there trying to get us back to normal as quickly as they can. I am sure the ones complaining are the ones with ice on their drives and walks a week later."

"In response to the person who wrote in about Covington not being Mayberry, N.C., that is absolutely right. To begin with Pork Chop is very boring and needs to find another hobby. Rails to Trails is about the stupidest thing, but right up there with that is the tunnel at the roundabout. Have you ever heard of anything so dumb? Covington needs a lot more than tunnels and Rails to Trails. Who ever wrote the article is right on and knows what he (or she) is talking about."

"Academy Springs Park is the best of places for families to gather, have picnics, wander the trail across the bridge, and have weddings. School children have been coming to the park for spring picnics and play for years. The Lions Club meets here: the Boy Scouts have a favorite here. The park is used and used and it is looking worn down at the heels and shabby on the high side. A rail fence has rotted and lots of the timbers are on the ground; they have been this way for seven months. Half a rail here, half a rail there. There was a lot of trimming out of overgrown vines and such last summer, but the poor park needs some TLC. Once there were rare wild azaleas, which were not maintained (fertilized, mulched or pruned). They were bending over with vines and weeds and trees coming up out of their roots. A few remain, but need help. The Garden Club ladies have added nice trees on the Conyers Street side of the park, but won't somebody help the other side of the park, down to the rocks and patio area? The wildflower garden and too big shrubs need lots of help, too. This is our oldest park and it needs attention, badly. It says something about our community to have this city park go downhill."

"No SPLOST ... Our leaders have proven they cannot manage our money. Threats of higher taxes without the SPLOST would be due to 'special projects,' which we certainly don't need at this stage of financial disaster. Although the special projects manager, who has no known experience in this field, receives an outrageous salary, the real problem is the spending of more taxpayer money for projects that are not necessary. I have no clue how that department could have ever survived 'the cut.' Chairperson Morgan was glad to give another $100,000. for 'trails' when we don't have enough sheriff's deputies to do their job. You can all see by the comments in The Citizen the natives are restless, and why shouldn't they be? A wise leader, whether in business (or a) politician knows to cut the pork. So why aren't we doing that? In the meeting where the commission voted the money for special projects, the 'elite' seated themselves on the front row solely for the purpose of intimidating the commission. They got what they wanted, and the people continue to suffer."

"We tend to get bent out of shape over comments, but what about the acts. To the person that made the comment about racism: Yes, racism is still alive today. In actuality, it never died. The sacrifices made over the last 40 years may have injured it, but it has long since recovered. Maybe they don't wear the cone-shaped headgear, but they still wear black robes, blue uniforms, brown uniforms, chefs hats, they head corporations, they minister to us, they protect our country, etc. Each and every one of us, if we dig deep enough, will find that to some degree we have been infected with the bug. The USA is a melting pot of races. With many diverse races there will be cultural differences. We don't take these differences into account. As long as this is the case racism will forever exist. It's how you deal with it that makes the difference. As for what you hear or see on the airways, the answer is still the same. Change the channel. I am black, African American, the 'N' word or however you want to view me or whatever you want to call me, but before I was any of those things, I was a child of God. My point is you should know who you are and whether or not these things apply to you."

"In response to state Rep. Doug Holt's use of county resources to clear his driveway of snow and ice, I was trying to figure who he was trying to pull the wool over. With limited personal knowledge into his background, I suspect he has a high school education, he owns and runs a business and writes a column for this paper. This information indicates to me he had the knowledge, ability and skill to find a contractor to clear his driveway in the telephone book or on the Internet. I'm sure Rep. Holt didn't contact the commission chairman when he built his house to get a list of contractors. Rep. Holt accomplished exactly what he wanted, free driveway clearing, until someone found out and now to save face, he'll pay for the service. Rep. Holt, individuals have lost their jobs for these actions elsewhere. So what is the labor and supply rate for four laborers, a Grade All and the material put down on the ground? Rep. Holt, the government is not the answer to the problem, be responsible and accountable and sometimes you will have to do for yourself."

"You know we have had a new county commissioner for 19 days now, almost three weeks, you think Mrs. Morgan could get the county Web site updated. I guess she has been too busy cleaning politicians' driveways of snow. I drive by Mr. Sims' house all the time and I know she did not clear his driveway or street because it still had ice on it Monday, so please show him some respect and put him on the Web site ... "

"A recent participant in one of your opinion polls believed that our local drug enforcement department was on a quota system which called for one drug raid every six months on a black crack house. It saddens me to agree with that person. I wonder if they let drugs run rampant because they believe it gives them job security. Something bad seems to be wrong and needs to be corrected for the welfare of the county."

"Well our local know-it-all columnist Huck is back telling us he is now a great weather expert -- no more snow and ice storms till at least 2020. It's already been proven because of global warming (which he also doesn't believe in because his Republican buddies say so) that there is a lot more moisture in the air, which leads to these unusual storms in the South. I will boldly predict now that not only we will not have to wait till 2020 but we may well see these every year from now on, maybe even several each year. As for his financial non-knowledge, if his buddy Purdue didn't stick us with GO-Fish at $1.6 million a year for 16 years we would have much more for schools and plows. Keep your report handy Huck, you will be bringing it out yearly now."