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Newton Poll - 06-11-11

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 am so tired of making complaints and getting no response from the code enforcement officer for the city. Maybe the area that used to be Covington Mills is not important to them, but we go to church there and always have. Many of these homes have grass and weeds knee high. The county code enforcement officers make sure that the people cut their grass. Why is the city officer not doing his job? I would like to know if he would let the area of his church look like this? I think not. Our pastor has to live across from a home that should be condemned. We have a home behind the church that should be condemned and no person should have to live in it, but the city refuses to do anything. Our county officers do their job so why is it that the city can't do the same? ... It is sad that we can't get anything done in this area. We have many taxpayers that go there and live all over the county and we are tired of the mess!"

"I know that I am forgetful from time to time. But isn't this week's poll (Saturday, May 28) a virtual repeat of the poll for Saturday 21?"

Editor's note: It depends on whether you read the Citizen Poll online or in print. The print version is sometimes shortened due to space limitations, and comments are held until the next week's print edition. The online version runs in full, so a comment you read online this week may appear in print next week.

"This is Chop! Boy, do I have a story for you this week. I call this story the man upstairs is not real funny. OK, first the Chop has moved. Settle down now, I just moved one street over. I have told the story about my half-naked Asian neighbor smoking a cigarette in the mornings. Well, he would be my ex-neighbor now. The eight years I lived next to him were very interesting and that experience will be unforgettable. I recently moved one street over. I thought throughout the move how it would be nice to go outside and not be faced with a half-naked Asian staring at me. So, I'm all moved in my new place. It's during the day, hot outside, and I go around back to assemble my grill. And right in my back yard, the house directly behind me, is a grown man tanning and rubbing oil on his upper torso. This is the moment where I stop in my tracks and look way up in the sky and I say to him, 'You are not very funny, sir!' I mean what in the world? Is there some sort of conspiracy against the Chop? Just when I thought I got away from the crazy neighbors, well think again. Now I have tanning boy in my back yard. So does anyone have any suggestions on a fence or planting trees for a natural barrier?"

"Dr. Mathews' aunt just happening to have his resume to submit to Louisiana is unbelievable. Georgia school systems have bought into the state school superintendent's ideas, and most have led to more problems. And, of course, these 'idea people' are long gone. Locally, Mathews cuts staff left and right, creating immense problems for those teachers who really teach, and then he departs to Louisiana for a cushy job. The buck stops with the students, who are guinea pigs for 'another' way to learn the fundamentals -- and it's not working."

"First of all I would like to thank the Georgia Highway Department for their paving North 81 through Oxford so good. It sure was nice to ride down the road through Oxford without hitting a pothole or a lead plate they had put over a hole the Oxford employees had made. The state crew did a real good job redoing the highway. ... One week after here comes the hole in the same place. Now the metal plates are back. I think one of the employees must own a front end alignment shop or a tire store."

"I agree with the people about breast feeding. It ain't no big deal. What is a big deal is the perverts that walk around with the pants hanging down your backside, and all you sissy boys with your long hair and wearing pink. ... "

"Yes, the roundabout on Turner Lake Road is very cute, very classy. It looks just great going up into the Clark's Grove area (wonder how that happened?) I wonder if the Citizen would be so good as to provide your readers with a comparative cost facts. How much did the roundabout cost versus putting in a additional turning lane and traffic light arrow. By the way, what a misfortune for the writer who had to sit and wait through a traffic light when no one was there. How very sad. If the Porterdale people would like to have a roundabout let the Porterdale taxpayers pay for it. In this day and age we can't afford to pay for cutesy; we can barely afford to pay for necessary."

"I feel very conflicted by the news that Gary Mathews, our Newton County school superintendent, after less than a year on the job is considering going back to Louisiana where all his family resides and where he has spent a good deal of his working life. I think about the considerable cost to the taxpayers and the time put in by our local officials interviewing and screening many candidates for the superintendent position. Seems like it would be embarrassing and awkward to call some of them back now and offer them the position. It seems ludicrous to believe that his aunt, unbeknown to him, sent his resume and entire employment detail to the Louisiana Board of Education without his knowledge or consent."

"I love dogs and have two myself. However, there is someone behind the Oak Hill subdivision with numerous dogs barking all the time. Can't even go outside any time of the day without listening to all the dogs barking. If you don't have time to take care of them, please find homes for them. They sound like they are being neglected."

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"Thank you for paving the unused railroad tracks on the bypass! By chance, are the stop signs also going to be removed, since there is no longer a need to stop at the tracks?"

"Things we love about Covington: Our mayor suffers from acute attention span syndrome. Our council, as well as county commissioners informal opinions, has stated, officially and more than once, 'We don't want to buy the railroad for trails!' ... It's so comforting to know the city is paying double the price for lots at Walker's Bend. And for what? Any improvement so far for the money spent? I don't think so. Who is in charge of that impending disaster anyhow? I think they should get a job with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac where their talents could really be utilized! With all the expenses incurred by the city for the road crossing tunnels, maybe we could have just bought a red elephant as a tourist attraction. You think all this is a joke? Well, I, among most other citizens, ain't laffin!"

"Hey Chop, out of curiosity, is that 'tanning boy' the same 'buff dude' you see at your gym? There seems to be a thread of connect the dots here! (LOL)"

"For those critics of Dr. Matthews, I ask a simple question. If you were in his shoes what would you have done? Let's see, he will make more money, he will be able to return to his home state, he had one year to face the 'mess' in the NCSS and was required to make budget-cutting decisions based on inputs from the principals at each school in Newton County -- other school systems did similar. In my opinion, it seemed he was trying to get things turned around from what he inherited. Is it possible he may have run into some road blocks along the way? I concur with others that have commented on the issues at the middle and high school. Based on my past experiences, it seems students know that little or nothing will or can be done in any form of discipline, many have little respect for teachers, other students or themselves and their purpose in life is to cause havoc in the classroom. Over the years, a significant number teachers have 'dressed down' to the student level for that 'casual' look -- crumpled pullover shirts, shorts and Georgia red dirt-stained tennis shoes may be too casual. No doubt there are those that wear professional-looking attire. Certainly Fridays is jeans days for teachers -- why? How one dresses can influence how others perceive you. Parents need to get involved. Able-bodied individuals can stay in school until they are 21 or almost 22. I believe this is an issue. If a student has not graduated by age 21 they probably won't but they can purchase certain items for those not yet 21 and they probably have financial 'needs' to support their lifestyle and have a lot of potential prospects for certain goods. I realize that this is required by law, but if things need fixing laws can be changed. Parents, get involved know what is going on behind those doors."

"To the person about the barking dogs, I agree with you, there are some stupid people out there who thing others want to hear their dogs barking all day. Send a certified letter and then submit to the court and a judge will force them to control their dog. It worked for me. The neighbor got angry, but I could give a (darn) about their feelings. Now I sleep good."

"I would like to comment to the commentators writing in about Obama: keep it up, and good job. Let's keep it fresh in our minds who this joker really is. The thing is, no one can be as immoral as he is and not fall. Don't forget what he stands for. One of the things he stands for is what he stood up for when he was an Illinois state senator, and that is pretty much any kind of abortion under the sun. He said that babies that where aborted but that were still alive when they where taken out of the womb should not be given medical attention. They should be left to gasp for breath and die in a dirty linen closet. I don't give a d#@&m about political correctness, most people wouldn't treat an animal like that. Voters, we need to get things right in 2012. Obama, go find a real altar somewhere, other than the one Rev. Wright kneels at, and get things right .... "

"OK. Here's yet another effort to clue in all parents and administrators of our public schools as to why our students' test scores continue to be low. Poorly paid teachers at every level of education and experience spend hours, often 'after work' to develop lesson plans (not to mention time spent grading papers and logging in daily work grades) that are carefully designed to present their course(s) at a level that covers all the objectives that the students will be tested on at different times during the school year. If every instructional class day were as effective and student focused as an Achievement Test day, then the teacher would be able to better prepare every student for these tests. Go figure. Unfortunately, when those big test days arrive, it's too late. Discipline problems, which teachers have to take valuable class time to deal with, are often created by the lack of parental involvement, both in and outside of the school. If parents were more involved with their child's success in the classroom, rather than storming in 'on occasion' to the administrator's office to demand reasons why little Joey or Susie felt 'abused' by comments made by the teacher that was trying to present those carefully prepared lessons only to be repeatedly interrupted by select students, then test scores would be at or above state or perhaps national norms. Wake up parents, stop sending unruly children to the classroom. Too much valuable class time is wasted and 99 percent of the time it's not the teacher's fault. You've got the whole summer to 'practice up.' And yes, I know this from experience."

"Back to the person calling me 'bubba,' I was driving through traffic circles in Europe before you even knew what they were. I lived there for five years. The point I was trying to make is that it has now eased up the traffic flow during rush times, also it is not large enough for that area. When I lived in the Tampa-St. Pete, Fla., area they installed a traffic circle in an area going to the beach. It lasted maybe two years, because it caused more problems with traffic jams than it was worth. So they tore it up and put in turning lanes and lights with turning arrows. So before you hang a 'bubba' title on someone, you better know that person. Also, for your information I am a retired engineer, so I know what I'm talking about, and again people today have no common sense, and I still say that the traffic engineers of today do not think, they just do."

"It's sometimes scary to see how county employees cross over Elm Street to get to and from the parking deck. I have never seen any of them use the crosswalk at the corner. They dart across in front of traffic thinking they have the right of way because of a sign there that says, 'State Law must stop for pedestrian in crosswalk,' which someone has pulled closer to the side door of the county Administration Building. I would like to see the city police issuing them tickets for this. There's a job for it's new traffic unit. If nothing else, when one of them gets hit issue them a ticket just like officers are told to due with every at fault driver. Just trying to save a life here and the county some workers comp money. Because you know that when one of them gets hit the first thing they will say is 'I'm at work.'"

"This is to the person who hasn't had a raise in eight years. You seem to think that the county employees have been getting raises. Let me just tell you that that is not the case. For three years now the county employees have not had a raise and have had 15 days taken away, which amounts to a pay cut. Not to mention layoffs for two years and maybe a third this year. The employees are trying to do two and three jobs to make you happy. No one seems to appreciate it, they just complain about what they can't get from the government. You get what you pay for! County employees are very grateful to have a job, even though the citizens walk through the door with a chip on their shoulder. Sort of like the one you seem to have."

"I just returned home from the Covington Post Office. If you ever wondered why the USPS is losing money yearly visit the Covington office to see how not to run a business. When I entered there were six people ahead of me, and when I was leaving the line was back to the door. What may surprise you is even though you could hear voices in back and see different individuals walking past, there was only one window open. I try not to use the Covington office for anything other than my P.O. box (which I pay for online) because the employees don't seem to care if you are served in a timely manner or not. The time before this visit there was one man that had multiple boxes of mail in which each piece had to be stamped. If I can go in and come out from the desk within 10 minutes it's a good day."

"Interesting to see the comment about the houses in the Covington Mills subdivisions and their disrepair but the city code enforcement not doing anything about it. The inspectors are busy trying to make the people of color fix their homes first. Take a ride down Washington Street and some of the streets that branch off of it. They are condemning properties, taking people to court and in some cases threatening people with arrest. While the judge that is being used in these tactics didn't have a problem allowing a DUI cop's charges be reduced to a reckless driving charge. All that's left to do now is to hoist the rebel flag above City Hall."

"I don't understand the resistance of authorities in Georgia to outlaw pit bulls. They are highly unpredictable and even though they may be great pets, can turn without notice. Just read the news about the children being attacked and killed -- it isn't by a poodle! Growing up in another state, there were pit bull bans as long as I can remember. Come on and ban the animals before more children are killed."

"I am so relieved to hear that Newton County will not be getting the walking trails. Let's all be realistic. We all know exactly what those trails would have turned into ... drug dealing, muggings, solicitation, littering and numerous other violations. In about a year it would have been a cancer that just wouldn't go away! Let's face it, we don't live in Mayberry anymore. It would have been a breeding ground for crime. I couldn't justify spending that kind of money when our county just cut the jobs of a boat load of teachers, cutting our education system, and condensing our law enforcement. Now what the county could do is take down the two stop signs located just before Eastside High School at a train track intersection that doesn't run anymore -- hello. I have lived in this county for 22 years and honestly I have never seen a train travel that particular intersection."