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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"I see where Madison County just hired a new school superintendent for a salary of $124,000. Newton County hired one for $270,000-plus. Your tax dollars at work!"
Editor's Note: When Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews was hired in July 2010, his salary was $159,400.
"In response to junior-to-be at Eastside and your grandmother, former teacher defender. I do agree with two of your three original points. One being, who cares about Obama's birth certificate, seems to be a non issue now. Three being, America at her worst has been the best place on Earth to live. But on point two, Israel being in little danger? That is a very bold statement from a student at any level of education. The history of conflict in the Middle East dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The argument in the region is not a mere dislike for other countries or governments. There is deep-seated religious hatred on both sides. In my opinion, annihilation may be the only resolution. If you consider WWII as an example, United States and Japanese relations have grown over a relative short period. Israel's geographic position in the Middle East and size make for a tremendous disadvantage militarily. Israel's religious affiliation is contrary to neighboring countries, therefore Israel is surrounded by adversaries. So to state 'little' danger is an understatement and could be quite offensive to the people of Israel. I really didn't need to go read any of my children's textbooks on the subject, but you may want to reread some of yours. You may also want to reconsider belittling an adult, no matter how ignorant you perceive them to be. A well-spoken and knowledgeable 15-year-old is more what your parents and grandma need. Not really fact, just my opinion."
"To the person who has the fix for schools. 1. I agree that discipline in school needs to be reinstated in a meaningful way. Writing up a student is a joke -- front office does nothing with them and the students know it. 2. There has been standards to measure student and schools for many decades. Tests like SAT determine college admissions. They were called something else when I went to school in the early '60s. Yep, there were accreditation standards that needed to be met then. 3. There is an adage that says 'For lack of a standard any level of performance is acceptable.' This goes for students and teachers. Not all students and teachers are top level performers. Most fall somewhere on that 'Bell Curve.' To just let a teacher just teach without measurement tools to determine effectiveness is very risky. In the private sector a performance review is used along with new goal setting (both personal and work-related) and improvement plans. It worked for me for 40-plus years. 4. Last time I checked in Newton County School System there are no teacher unions. 5. You should have added 'parental' or 'guardian' involvement is essential -- not on a part time or when it is convenient basis -- each day and every day in some way."
"Wondering why Gov. Nathan Deal doesn't duplicate what his predecessor did -- and fine gasoline stations $5,000 per day for each day of price gouging. There's no way the price increases are being done by the oil companies alone."
"Roundabouts are a waste of taxpayers money. All they had to do at Turner Lake Road was to put turning lanes and add a turning arrow to the lights. The engineers who came up with this roundabout need to go back to grade school and practice with the Tinker Toys some more or use some common sense, which a lot of people do not seem to have these days."
"Wow, Chop! You sure did strike a nerve with choir boy's mommy. You are right, though; you just simply pointed out that the country's financial situation is not as pretty as choir boy made it sound."
"This is Chop. So now the county is discussing options to raise money for the next fiscal budget. They want to tack on a fee for owning a pet, going to the local park and for using the recycling center. First, I do own a dog and don't think for one second I will step up and announce, 'Hey, I have an animal. Please tax me more.' How will you enforce this. Will you canvass door to door and make sure everyone is in compliance? How will you collect the money at the parks? Will you have a guard shack and a newly hired county employee at $50,000 a year this includes the benefits that employee will receive. Well, that sure makes a lot of sense. Here is a suggestion. Why don't we introduce a dead head tax; we sure would collect a lot of revenue just from the Board of Commissioners alone."
"While taking a drive some days ago in Newton County I saw a saying on several signs with the final sign that read Burma Shave. Well, I wonder what happened to his comments he at one time posted. They were to me amusing and funny at times.
"Let me see if I have a clear understanding of this problem. Our Newton County commissioners voted to build a new library branch in western Newton County, then did not provide the funding to purchase enough books to even partially fill the library shelves, or fully staff the facility. Newspaper stories ran that praised the library staff for creatively making the library look as full as possible with a minimum number of books. The head of the Newton County Library System was so embarrassed and displeased by personnel funding cuts, library material funding cuts, and personal salary and benefits cuts, that he quit to go to work for a government agency up north that paid more ... of everything."
"My neighbor down the street is a Newton County deputy sheriff. He told me his supervisor, a Newton County Sheriff's Office patrol lieutenant, was recruited to join a federal government agency and the lieutenant chose to leave because he could not afford to stay with the Sheriff's Office. The lieutenant had been with the Sheriff's Office for over 10 years. He had rose through the ranks from deputy sheriff to corporal, to sergeant, and at his present rank of lieutenant, yet he could never reach the top pay after 30 years of service. Newton County does not care about its public safety employees. You are on your own."
"Why is it that every post that is made about the new Walmart, ends up in the Rockdale Citizen's poll and not the Newton poll. The new Walmart is being built in Newton County not Rockdale. Looks to me like you are trying to make sure everyone in Rockdale is aware of what's going on with us in Newton. Even the ground breaking was ran in the Rockdale Citizen and not the Newton Citizen."
"Forest Park has just passed an ordinance stating that women cannot breast feed children over 2 years old in public. DUH! Children over 2 years old should be drinking from a cup. As a friend of mine said, 'If they are old enough to unbutton your blouse, they are ready for a cup.' Now, let's get an ordinance passed that bans young men with their pants down around their ankles. That is disgusting. No one wants to look at your crack. Pull up your pants."
"I was almost in an accident while driving down Crowell Road on Saturday, May 22. The reason was Newton County deputies on motorcycles during the bike ride. They came into oncoming traffic for us to pull over. I didn't know there was a law requiring us to pull over for charity bike rides. Sheriff Brown needs to check on this because they almost ran into vehicles!"
"I'm writing to comment on the Viewpoint that Maurice Carter Jr. presented in the Newton Citizen dated May 20, 2011. He cites a number of figures relating to population growth, revenues from retail sales, revenues leaving Newton County. He cites a study in 2008, commissioned by the city of Covington and Newton County, which stated in a survey roughly 100,000 Newton citizens had retail spending of $1.5 billion. My math tells me that each and every Newton citizen spent $15,000 in retail transactions. That level of spending is hard to believe. This means that a family of two spends $30,000 in retail purchases; a family of four spends $60,000. The study cites that nearly half that amount is spent outside of our county. The study goes on to show how the county will grow in jobs, housing, employment and industry/manufacturing in the coming years. Unfortunately, 2008 threw a monkey wrench into the study. Newton County unemployment is over 11 percent, higher than the state, foreclosures rank third in the state, and the manufacturing jobs did not materialize. Of note, the study predicted a very large growth in construction jobs. I don't see too many houses or factories being built. My family and I cannot find the products we need in Newton County and are forced to go to other cities outside of the county. I want to support our merchants, but if they don't have what I need, I go where merchants have the products. Based on the lost revenues, it appears that there are quite a number of Newton residents doing the same. I would hope Mr. Carter would revisit the true numbers and promote economic growth by means other than a bike trail."
"I absolutely love the roundabout! Before the roundabout, I could be the only vehicle anywhere around, and still sit through a very long light. Turn lanes and arrows could not improve on not having to stop when no one else is around! I hope they put one in at the Porterdale intersection a.s.a.p!"
"I agree with the writer about Obama not caring about the United States. He's gone to Africa and here and there. I myself don't think he's no dang American neither. I agree with them -- need to get him out of there, impeach him or whatever because he is going to put this United States in the poor house. I believe that is what he wants to do. He ain't no American. And about the roundabout, I don't really see what people complain about. It's a whole lot better than all those stop signs and red lights over there at Turner Lake Road. It might cost a lot to build them, but I think they are all right."
"I just read a Newton Citizen concerning the commissioner wanting to raise the millage rate yet again, and I feel sure it is well above the state mandate which would require a ... public meeting before they raise it again. It seems this always falls on the homeowners to pay the majority of taxes. I have a good suggestion: let's put liquor sales, beer and wine on a referendum for the rest of the county which is dry and then the county, like Henry County and a number of others, will be able to bring in some tax revenue from that ... the upside of that would also be that we would get some nice restaurants in the outlying areas of the county where we really have none. It's antiquated not to have liquor by the drink in these times and ages."
"Dr. Matthews does not have to hire a consultant to find out what is wrong with Newton County schools. All he has to do is ask the parents who are trying to get an education for their children. I have an eighth-grader at Veterans Memorial Middle School, and I am fed up with what goes on in her school. She has been bullied by a boy this year who has even called her profane names. When I talk to the school about it, I am told that he doesn't mean any harm, he comes from a bad background, and doesn't know any better. I attended the eighth-grade picnic, and quickly decided to take my child home. Not only was it held in the hottest part of the day, it was wild and out of control. There was very little supervision, and the students were using very vulgar and profane language. Some of the boys were pulling at girls' shirts, and putting ice in the front of them, and in their pants. On Saturday night when I took her to the eighth-grade dance I was furious. After rules were laid down about appropriate dress, the majority of the students came half dressed. One of the girls had on a dress that was cut low in front (to her navel), and it was so short that it was vulgar. Shame on the parents as well for allowing this. Children: If rules are not enforced, how are they going to learn acceptable behavior? When a teacher is absent, and a class is left with only the teacher in the class next door to check on them, how are they going to be successful? Teachers, administrators, and parents need to quit turning their heads the other way, and regain control before it's too late!"
"Rock Star Obama really cares, doesn't he? Not! He flew to Ireland to check out his family's Irish heritage? Who cares? Americans are dying and losing everything. No! He doesn't care! Wake up America! We do not need this rock star anymore! We need someone who cares more for Americans than himself. He goes to England and doesn't even know the protocol (one does not make a speech while their National Anthem is being played), the Queen had to shush him just like a little misbehaved child. Why was that? It was because he is the chosen one, he could care less. He should feel overlooked because he wasn't invited to the Royal Wedding. Why should he have been, considering his lack of sense, sending the bust of Churchill back and giving the Queen some of his speeches (like she would really care). This just shows how little he knows about anything. He is an embarrassment to the United States. This president has been bowing to all the leaders of the Middle East but throwing Israel under the bus! When does this idiocy stop? Proud Americans -- End this in 2012! God bless America and all her people!! The choice is ours! We can make the difference! End this Obama monarchy! Vote him out in 2012! We can -- we must!"
"Let me see if I got this straight. 1) Volunteer firefighters can train during an abandoned house burn down. 2) Paid firefighters, Newton County firefighters, cannot train with the volunteers because there is not enough training funds. 3) Yet, Commissioner Tim Fleming got the last SPLOST option passed, including building a new $1.2-plus million fire station in the north part of the county, but the NCFS cannot staff nor train firefighters to man the station."
"I was going to comment on the jerk talking negative about LEOs (sounds like someone been in trouble with the law) but I won't waste my time. But what I would like to comment on is: Thank you for the traffic light at Highway 212 and Oak Hill. It's long time coming. While going to work on May 25 in my vehicle, I observed a vehicle blowing the red light there in which someone traveling in another direction just crossed the intersection. Really people, slow down and pay attention before you hurt someone!"