Newton Poll - 03-05-11

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.

"If it is in fact true that the Porterdale Volunteer Fire Department, specifically the fire chief, is currently under investigation by the city manager, mayor and city council ... why have we not heard about this in the newspaper. I truly hope the truth comes out in this matter."

Editor's note: The city of Porterdale is looking into complaints against Fire Chief Ronald Savage. According to the city, the investigation is ongoing.

"I just want to say to the person who found the $20 bill that I dropped on the floor Feb. 24 just before 6:30 p.m. at CVS pharmacy on Highway 36, you should be ashamed of yourself. Not only was that all the money I had, but my daughter saw her mommy cry."

"Maybe seniors can use the proposed new agriculture center since we have outgrown the sharing of the Turner Lake facility. Again, there is nothing in the SPLOST that benefits this overcrowded problem. So, no, again. Some commissioners are stating there will be a tax increase if SPLOST is not passed. That really sounds like a threat, does it not? My property has decreased and you would like to raise taxes because some must pay, but not all. How about this ... volunteer. All elected city, county and education members could forfeit their salaries, pensions and benefits while they are in office 'Only to serve the citizens and children of this city and county.' No, you say, why would you (the officials) destroy your house when you could destroy mine ... (using money you received from me)."

"Bottom line: If you don't vote yes to SPLOST, then get out your personal checkbook and prepare to put up the money to replace worn out public safety vehicles, expand the emergency room so you won't have to wait forever to be seen when your life may be on the line, pay on the county's existing debt service (none of the proposed projects will be bonded), fix some of our wretched intersections, and complete the Miracle Field. Either property owners are going to pay -- or we'll ask everybody who shops in Newton County to pay the tab. We can't limp along another two years without these projects being funded. You think we're hurting now? Just wait."

It is time the school board change its policy and name the new school T K Adams He is what this community is about and he should be honored call your board member and tell them how you feel.

The county commissioners have laid off employees to save money; cutback on pay for holidays and are asking Newton County citizens to pass SPLOST for their pet projects; so why did Commissioner Morgan make up a job position at the county maintenance shop for a friends husband. Should we check to see if he gets a county car to drive to work. Since the county doesn't mind cutting back on police and fire funding maybe he use one of their vehicles.

"Do you believe that rewarding bad behavior encourages more of the same? Do you believe that when Newton County Commissioners Mort Ewing, Tim Fleming and J.C. Henderson agreed to meet only in pairs to discuss and allocate millions of dollars in proposed SPLOST tax dollar spending, that these commissioner meetings were designed to avoid the Georgia Open Meetings Act? That Newton County Commissioners Mort Ewing, Tim Fleming and J.C. Henderson never denied holding these 'couples meetings,' or that county business was discussed? Was this bad behavior? I think so, that is why I am voting against the SPLOST. Do you believe that rewarding bad behavior encourages more of the same? I think so, that is why I am voting against the SPLOST."

"Recently several issues concerning unethical behavior by city personnel have been brought to the attention of the Porterdale mayor. He has made little to no progress in resolving any of these concerns. Sweeping things under the rug is not the proper way of dealing with problems of such great magnitude. I hope that the voters return the favor if he is selfish enough to run again. My only wish is that these good ol' boy politics die a thousand deaths."

"As a citizen of Newton County living in Porterdale I am extremely concerned with how the city is being run. The individuals in charge seem to sweep major issues under the rug on a continual basis. This is a major liability and will sooner or later be the cause for an unfortunate reckoning. What is going on down at the Fire Department? I have been concerned with how things have been run down there for over seven years. Why isn't any action being taken? The city appears to be stuck in the 1950s, and not in a good way. I sure hope something is done; they are on a collision course with disaster. I hope the citizens get wise and elect a new 'king.' We need officials in office that are focused on the betterment of the community!"

"Teachers! Teachers! Don't complain about your pay unless you chose this career with your eyes totally shut. Like any career, this is a chosen profession and hopefully you did some research into the annual pay before you spent time and money to earn your degree. Certainly the benefits are very attractive compared to the private sector when it comes to tenure, retirement, scheduled annual work days, you can get tax deductions for certain out-of-pocket expenses, receive automatic pay increases for added education achievements and until recently 'recession proof' for eons. But hopefully you selected teaching as a career because you wanted to make a difference."

"Hey, this is the guy with the Walmart glasses. You 'might' be right; these could be safety glasses, cause I looked for that 'bold' print you assured me was in your thread and couldn't find it anywhere. Even used a 4 diameter magnifying glass, made by Bosch and Lomb, and your text looked just like all the other comments this week. Hmmmm! Sure glad Walmart has a good return policy or would you like to borrow my glasses before I do? I agree it is no one's business what type of car anyone drives (as long as it is safe) -- that is called freedom of choice. I do disagree if you buy a high-end vehicle, expensive homes, boats, etc. don't complain about it -- it was a choice -- good or not so good."

"A response to the person who said that teachers should look at what is happening in Wisconsin, and to toughen up: Please, before you speak, check your data. Georgia teachers have no unions! We pay 100 percent for our health insurance, have given up six days of pay (furlough) and receive only 1 percent toward our retirement. Again, I plead, think before you speak!"

"Recycle center containers full, again. I know not to visit on the weekend as they will be full and to wait for a day after the weekend to let the drivers pull the full and return an empty. Now it appears the drivers are not doing their jobs. I made two trips and the container was still full in the middle of the week!"

"I think we should vote 'no' on the SPLOST tax increase. Has anyone really looked at what you are voting for? Who wants another tax increase at a time that we all are having to tighten our billfolds and our own personal budgets.

1. Upgrade parks and construction of new park facilities: (Who are we kidding?)

2. District 4 Community Center: do we really need a new one? Go to turner lake -- its new!

3. Purchase of land for and indigent cemetery: Really, are you serious?

4. Historic jail: jails are for criminals not to gawk at

5. Agricultural facility: Newton County High School already has one -- use it.

Just with my ridiculous cuts this could save the county $7 million of stupid spending. If you vote yes for SPLOST you're a fool! Everyone has to pitch in and help. For more interesting spending of your money check out Newton County Commissioners Web site. Look for SPLOST 2011 talking points, see what foolish ideas are in this and what we can do without!"

"My response is for the mayor of Covington, Ms. Carter. I was reading the article about your State of the City address and found it interesting how you either misspoke or was misquoted on an owner of a $150,000 home in the city only pays about $490 in property taxes per year. If that is true that means the remainder of close to $3,000 per year, is going somewhere else. Should it have been stated that the city only takes $490 out of more than $3,000 of your home valued at 150k for property tax. Which also means you have to collect from over 12,000 homes valued at $150,000 to just meet your projection of $5 million collected for property taxes. Somehow I just don't think we have that many homes in the city or that are valued that high. I would like a refund please."

Editor's note: The mayor was referring only to city property tax; the balance of your tax bill would include county property taxes and school taxes. The city also collects property taxes from businesses and industries.

"Want better roads, better fire protection, better judicial facilities, better hospital care? Want our neighbors in other counties to help us pay for it all? Vote 'yes' on SPLOST March 15th."

"If you want to lower the price of gas in Newton County vote no on the SPLOST and it will drop by 1 cent. To all those who say lower taxes does not affect the economy, how come those same left wingers are saying now that this new spike in the gas prices is a 'tax on the economy and will slow the recovery.' Makes you want to say hmmmmmm. I guess extra cold winter is Global warming too."

"The more I think about it, the madder I get. For years we have schools who failed to make standards. From what I see in the paper we have never had all the schools meet the standard set by No Child Left Behind. The school board and the taxpaying voters of this county have failed our children. We have gave money at theme schools that were not filled but we have put our children in trailer parks. We have spent money of on the nice building for the school board office. By the way, Rockdale put theirs in an old school. But we cannot honor a man who is an example of what we want our children to be. Give one good reason why TK Adams is not good enough to have his name on the building. If that is the policy then remove Homer Sharp From the stadium's name."

"Go ahead and raise the SPLOST. It won't matter. Gas prices are going up. People will stop going to Walmart and the sales tax receipts will go down. Remember 2008. By the way that means either higher property taxes to keep Mort's pork projects going or more county layoffs. Note to BOC: Don't lay off the one who writes the checks for you because you won't get a pay check."

"All I read in the paper is all the great things a SPLOST will bring us. Let's look back at the last couple of SPLOSTs to see what happened. Remember the only two times ago we were going to restore the old courthouse -- did not happen until the next one. Go and take a look at the civic center they pounded down our throats saying we had to have it for growth to the downtown area. Where is the civic center? Someone please show me what we did with that money. And all this debt we are paying off with this SPLOST -- do you know where that came from. Past SPLOST bonds, that's right they borrowed more money than the SPLOST will take in. Times are hard but all the BOC wants to do is spend, spend, spend. Who cares who's going to pay for it. Folks if the county keeps spending more than it takes in and running the credit cards -- aka bonds -- up the county will be bankrupt in a couple of years. Please, next election can put some responsible people in charge."

"Why is it when you call a black person who has committed a crime a thug you get called a racist. If any other ethnic group commits a crime and you call them a thug you never here the word racist. I hate to inform all of you but when a mug shot is put in the paper because of a crime you tried to pull off but got caught at, you are a thug. When I see a person with their pants down below their butt and their hat on sideways I think how this person looks like a thug. People, if you want respect pull your pants up, turn your hat forward and carry yourself with pride. By the way, in prison when you wear your pants like that it means you are available. I'm sick and tired of this county going to the thugs, take back our county before it's too late. If everybody is respectful of people's property and people in general, this county would be much better off. Nobody owes anybody a thing -- period, and nobody deserves government assistance unless they deserve it, like the elderly who have been productive citizens in their early years. Stop having babies just to get your money, stop taking advantage of the system, stop disrespecting yourself. Be a productive member of society, work hard and earn your way through life, then look back with pride."

"Since Newton County is bogged down in an economic bind and can't figure out how to make ends meet -- wouldn't it be a novel idea to earn extra revenue by charging drivers that have moving violations, drunk or under the influence, no drivers license, no proof of insurance and no proof of U. S. Citizenship their respective fines, have their cars impounded and not release the vehicles until the impound fee is paid and proof that insurance has been purchased and proof of a valid Georgia drivers license has been obtained. This would also work for the city of Oxford, the city of Covington and the city of Porterdale. We are already listed on the National Speed Trap Exchange on the Internet -- so it would not hurt any reputations. Sounds like a win-win situation to me."

"Can anyone explain to me the Sheriff's Office going over $900,000 on his budget and Kathy Morgan just finding out about it and it seems that no one is that upset. First of all, I don't understand how he could get that far over budget in the first place. Who is writing the checks over there? They need to keep a better up-to-date balance and why is nothing being said or done to him for being that far over budget. What happens if every department starts doing this? What will become of Newton County?"