"I have been a member of the Newton County Fire Service for over 20 years. Like you, I have read the repeated comments of county workers about the sorry state of morale in Newton County government service offices. It makes me sad because I love Newton County, I love the firefighters I serve with, and the citizens we protect. But, the fact is the comments you have read are true. Not even "lay-off off all the firefighters and cops" commissioners Mort Ewing and Tim Fleming attempt to refute the fact that there is a widespread morale problem that they have sown year, after year, after year, by not supporting the fire service. I wish this would have never happened, but my best friend's son is graduating from high school this year and he asked me for career advice as he has always wanted to be a firefighter since I bought him a fire truck when he was a pre-schooler. Years ago my advice would have been to join the Newton County Fire Service and follow your dreams. Now, all the nearby government providers are fully supporting their fire service departments, but not Newton County. Covington, Conyers, Rockdale County, Decatur, DeKalb County, Henry County, on and on and on ... firefighters there have a bright future. There is no future in working for Newton County. Just more medical benefit cuts, retirement cuts, dental cuts, holiday cuts, every cut is directly on the back of the workers. Yet they give hundreds and thousands, even a million dollars during a depression to fund a agricultural show barn."----
"Covington is becoming a joke. Cut down all the trees just to put down more roadway. What is the point of all the not getting anywhere road job? Also do we really need another pharmacy? We already have them at every corner, Kmart, Walmart, Freds, Rite Aid, Kroger, CVS, Chips. Why can't we get a good family place to eat, meaning quality food that your kids can eat. too. All these fast food joints, duh? That's why we so fat. But thats Covington for you. Let the rich get rich while others work hard just for gas money and then get fast food that really sucks and is not even real food. We are nowhere close to building our children's future. And, yes, drug screen the food stamp user."----
"Why is everyone so worked up about drug testing low-income recipients of food stamps, Medicaid, etc.? We should be following the big bucks -- recipients of massive bailouts and corporate subsidies. The Bush bailouts of 2008 were easy loans handed over to banks in the hope that they would use the money to continue extending credit and, thus, shore up the economy. Nonetheless, most banks proceeded to give out millions of dollars in bonuses to their top executives with no regard for how the banks were performing or the amount of credit they were providing. You might remember a brief flurry of controversy over these bonuses, with banks insisting that they needed to give out these tremendous bonuses in order to attract good executives. Presumably, then, these bonuses went to effective, competent, trustworthy individuals who would never use illegal drugs or pay prostitutes, correct? General Electric, received $8.4 billion in tax subsidies between 2008 and 2010. And mortgage lender Wells Fargo received the largest slice of that particular federal pie at $17.9 billion. People trusted with billions in public money would never flush it away on cocaine, would they? Would it not be entirely reasonable to ensure that our public money was used properly by drug-testing those people who have been paid using bailout cash? I believe this would be a great strategy because it shines a light on the waste and unfairness of the giveaways that we hand over to big corporations. Whatever the results, it would tear away the veil of mystery and invisibility that surrounds powerful corporations, and help to undermine the respect and deference, almost amounting to reverence, with which politicians inexplicably treat the recipients of corporate welfare. What is the matter? Are they too posh to pee?"
----"I was very upset that your paper did not publish the photos of the first place team in the cheerleading competition. These girls and their coaches worked hard for this honor and I think it is a disgrace that your paper chose to print a photo of the losers! I take your paper and have for years, but if this is how you do these girls who worked so hard I think it is time for my whole family to reconsider their subscriptions. Is it possible that the girls on this team are members of one of your employees's families? I think if you are going to do the photos for the recreation department you should at least get a picture of the winners! My grandchild was on the winning team and her Mother was the coach! She worked hard and practiced everyday! She deserved to be recognized for this! She is a quest student and always makes all A's. I think our young people who work hard should be recognized for their effort! They were also the cheerleaders for the Division III Canes who were the division winners. My grandson was on the winning football team."
Editor's Note: No one in our newsroom recalls receiving any photos of cheerleading competition. If you will submit them, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our office at 7121 Turner Lake Road, we will consider publishing them.
----"It's great that Bobby 'I didn't steal No signs' Sigman was soundly defeated. He is an embarrassment to our fine city. To the 200-odd voters, and I do mean ODD, are y'all really that easy to fool? Sigman has nowhere near what it takes for the complex job of mayor but he thinks he is smarter than most which is a sure sign of an ego run amuck."
----"I was calling about the foreclosure situation around. I mean I feel bad for these people and everything but the bottom line is the way it is the people that finance it you either pay for it or they repossess it. That's the way it is. That's the way it has been and that's the way it probably always will be. I think it is just dumb to camp out in front of a house to keep anybody from repossessing it. If you don't have it paid for, don't have the title, it belongs to whoever financed it."
----"I strongly believe that the average worker including salaried workers in the U.S. should not earn more than $2 an hour. Big business should reap the most profit from their goods as possible, after all they created the jobs. There should not be any medical insurance for workers at any price as it would be expensive for companies. If a worker gets sick and dies he or she would be replaced with another. To allow workers to survive as long as possible, corporations should set up communities of shacks for workers to live in -- no facilities, of course. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be immediately dissolved, allowing more profit for companies. The Government should get the same profit. Children should not be schooled but put to work in factories (U.S.) as soon as they reach age 6. A lot more can be done, but you get my meaning; I am a staunch, dyed-in-the-wool, lifelong Republican."
----"This comment is for the basic Georgia fan. I don't know they just seem like they have no class, no culture. It ain't no big deal if you beat a high school team. Now when you beat someone like Alabama, or LSU, Celebrate, Celebrate, but the teams that Georgia has beat it ain't that big a deal."
----"I was calling about Mayor Kasim Reed's brother and the problems he is having. I believe he didn't get preferential treatment about as far as I can throw Stone Mountain."