"So the buffoon of state government came calling in Covington? Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission, (PSC) brought his clownish road show and natural gas-powered car to the Covington Kiwanis Club recently. But the only way he could drive this far from Atlanta and back was to ask (force?) Snapping Shoals EMC to provide natural gas for his return to Atlanta since there are no stations here that provide that fuel for cars. This is the same Tim Echols who tried to force the Masters Golf Tournament to give him tickets and when refused, threatened to come check the licenses and paperwork on the rented limos being used to carry high rollers to and from the tournament. This is the same Tim Echols who scheduled a 'meeting' in Albany that happened to coincide with his daughter's track meet. Georgia taxpayers paid for that trip. He also charged Georgians for his appearance in the Savannah St Patrick's Day parade, Echols took two taxpayer-funded trips to St. Simon's Island with various family members, once to practice a news conference and again to hold the news conference. Echols threatened to conduct a sting operation on prom night limos that were hauling teenagers to Atlanta and back, risking leaving teens standing on the side of the road in unsafe areas. Only the intervention of other PSC members kept that terrible idea from happening. He has billed taxpayers more for his travels in nine months than most PSC members do in several years. Now Echols has put us on notice that he intends to travel to France next year to 'study' nuclear power plants there. Other PSC members have sent assurances that taxpayers will not pay for that trip. It is very disappointing to see the Covington Kiwanis invite this class clown or worse to our community. He has done nothing but embarrass Georgians and take advantage of his position. When I think our own former Sen. John Douglas finished second to Echols, I have to wonder what Georgia voters were thinking. I bet Douglas wouldn't finish second now."----
"Why is the school superintendent trashing schools on the west side of town after Mulligan and his beamer leave the building. I have no respect for a system leader who trashes other schools and in earshot of teachers. Can the school board demote this man? We've had enough of the arrogance. Every teacher in our school now knows what is wrong with the high school on the west side. That's not leadership."----
"Why is super Mathews trash talking Clements Middle School? Shouldn't he be for ALL schools?"
----"I cannot see for the life of me how the restoration of the Old Jail has become such a confused maze of bizarre planning not relative to the initial concept. The taxpayers agreed to the SPLOST for funds to restore the old jail and have it turned over to the Newton County Historical Society for a museum. That is what they told us in the press. No, I am not a member of the Historical Society but I do believe they should be the stewards of county historical artifacts and they should be housed in the Old Jail as promised. They could also get hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to perpetuate this facility that are not available to the county. So we will have to use tax money to keep it up and keep it going. The Historical Society was completely left out of all planning by the Special Projects director from day one. Then the citizenry was told the Historical Society would not be getting the Old Jail and we were all told it was not going to be a museum but a 'period decorated facility,' whatever that means. Now we have a handicapped ramp obscuring a portion of the front of the Old Jail, which was not part of the original structure and could have been much better planned and implemented without blocking the porch. Of course, the kiosk out front also obscures the front of the building and the recently placed 'sculpture' to hold signs will block it even more. To get to the point, the person in charge has no clue. Thinking that the populous will be thrilled with this 'new plan' and without even consulting with members of the Historical Society who know the history and local connections to the facility over the years, Cheryl Delk continues to shock and infuriate the people who have lived the history with her obscure planning. There is much more but to conclude, rather than spending consulting money for redesigning the Old Jail to a 'period decorated facility' instead of just being what it is and spending money for someone to design a skeletal sculpture of something to hold signs, I would have at least thought Ike Hay Jr. would have been consulted about the sculpture. He is a renowned sculptor whose father was born to Sheriff Sam M. Hay (literally) in the Old Jail. His last commission before his retirement now sits in front of the Reptile House at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. It is a huge bronze of a very rare dinosaur skull for hundreds of thousands of people to see annually. How many strikes does it take in this game until someone in a position of authority says, enough is enough! Samuel M. Hay III PS: Ms. Delk, my grandmother did not serve prisoners meals. She was a prim, proper lady and those chores were handled by the maid. PPS: They didn't hang people in the steeple. They tried it and it was too much trouble so they went back to the scaffolds on the Square. The scaffolds were housed in the shop that stood where the parking lot behind the Masonic building is today until at least into the late '60s. Please get your facts straight before taking tour groups into the Old Jail and making up stories as if you know what you are talking about!"
----"'Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Saturday.' The above statement is what y'all say about posting the weekly Citizen Poll for either the Newton Citizen and Rockdale Citizen. Well, it is Sunday morning Sept. 25 and it 'ain't happened yet.' like in the previous three weeks with the 'New & Improved' format. Someone is asleep at the wheel!'"
----"Could someone please tell me why we pay rent to 'The Center' for the Main Street Covington personnel when there is an entire floor unoccupied at the new Newton County Administration Building. Sounds like a true case of cronyism, giving public tax money to an individual for their benefit, not ours! Who is the person responsible for making such ridiculous decisions? This newspaper should ask that question and print a story to let us all know 'Who done it.'"
----"I'm guessing the person who had the 14 reasons to not elect Obama again is a very hard person to live with. I'm guessing there is another reason, too."
----"I was calling about the comment about the fights Rockdale/Heritage game. That is one of the very reasons I don't go to sports games that much. I would love to go. I love sports, but I just think too much of my health. I don't know which is worse, the conduct of the fans or of the people dancing, suggestive dancing on the field. I don't know which is worse. I think it is a shame you can't go to a game and sit there and enjoy a game and not be embarrassed by dirty dancing and all that stuff. I think it is just a shame."
----"Good morning. My comment is about the school zone in Oxford at Palmer Stone. I think we should have a Barney Fife citizen's arrest on the mayor and the police department for deceiving the citizens about the school zone. I think by now they have had all summer and two months in the school year to get the state to deactivate the blinking signs and taking the signs down. So, let's get our Sheriff's Department to arrest the mayor and the police department for deceiving all the good people that use Ga. Highway 81 North."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The old Palmer Stone Elementary School now serves as centralized storage, a base location for itinerant teachers and the location of the Mainstay program that was housed at Sharp Learning Center.----"I would like to comment on two opinion type articles and one news front page article. All of these pertained to and were in favor of blocking streets and neighborhoods in Covington for the benefits and profits of private enterprises.
- Around two weeks ago, a woman in the Newton Citizen poll was praising the Fuzz Run because her daughter enjoyed it while chastising the residents and businesses who opposed the denial of the right of ingress and egress. This woman should reevaluate her role as a mother. She is sending a message to her daughter that it is OK to inconvenience and harm others as long as she is having fun.
- In the AJC from page article 09-24-11, a Covington woman, who gives home tours, Jessica Lowery, is quoted in regards to traffic snarls caused by filming crews. Quote: 'The most they do is stop traffic for maybe a minute. If you have to sit for a minute so that everyone on your block has a job, so what?' This statement is totally false. Motorists and truckers are stopped and routed through unfamiliar neighborhoods (from a state highway on to city residential streets). Many truckers get lost and can't turn around, and 18-wheelers wander through residential neighborhoods. Nonemergency health care providers are denied access into the Fuzz Run and filming areas so they can check on sick and elderly patients.
- A local paper (The Covington News) through their 'own thoughts" opinion told the businesses and residents (who view their rights being trampled by the police powers of the state) to 'seriously guys, deal with it.' Whatever happened to the age old American principle that states 'your rights end where my nose begins.' and also: Cain said 'Unto the Lord: 'Am I my brothers keeper? and St. Paul told us: 'For the love of money is the root of all evil,' the city of Covington appears to be going down a slippery slope where 'money talks and everything walks.'"
----"Tommy Craig, the county attorney for Newton County, ... his discredits read like a Hollywood novel. Without going into all the gory details, I would like to simply point out the one thing that marks him as a person unable to back up what he says by stating he never responds to the allegation but always goes out of his way to discredit the detractor. If Jesus asked him a question about some of his actions Craig's answer would be, 'And yeah, I heard you had a girlfriend.' It's hard to fly straight with an albatross around your neck. Especially one that carries a bag of money in excess of tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money inside."
----"To the defender of Sheriff Brown concerning raises. You need to educate yourself as to what the office of Sheriff can and cannot do. Furlough days were the sheriff's idea, nonpaid holidays were the board's idea. Get it right. Raises and promotions can be handed out by either one, they choose not to. Both need to realize that the employees that have decided to stay choose to do so. Politics usually balance on a scratch-my-back understanding. Employee benefits are just that and when taken away all that's left is a paycheck. I wonder if those elected official's salaries have been cut to reflect the unpaid holidays. Excuses, anyone?"