Oct. 16 Newton Citizen Poll

"So here we go at the ball game again tonight and I walk up and ask may I meet the superintendent. He is not here again, they say. Does he not go to games or to work on Fridays?"

"After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

'Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this and then you tell me I can't pray!'"

"Rockdale County has passed AYP for years but Newton County cannot. Maybe it is time for a change in leadership."

"I would like Ms. Morgan to tell me why is it the volunteer fire trucks like Porterdale do not have Newton County on the sides of them. Instead they say Porterdale Fire, North Newton or Salem. These fire trucks were bought by county fire tax money and owned by the county. Wait, I think I figured it out. You don't know we have a fire department and what stations are paid or volunteer."

"I am a handicapped U.S. Army veteran and I would like to comment on the monument (memorial) that sits on the north side of the Covington City Square Park and faces the Newton County Courthouse. This monument was placed there as a dedication to honor the Newton County servicemen who were killed in action. Many of the names there were my friends and relatives. It was placed there for a sacred and solemn purpose. The City of Covington and something call Mainstreet has recently transformed the City Square Park from a serene and peaceful place into a sideshow-fairground-carnie-carnival-rockband-Hollwyood-filming-dog contest-roadblocking- and every other type of circle imaginable location. It is my understanding that Newton County owns the park. I would like to recommend that the Newton County Board of Commissioners relocate this monument to a more hallowed location. Better locations would be: the old courthouse porch across the street, the main entrance to the Covington City Cemetery, or the veteran's portion at Lawnwood. The bottom line is: this monument should not continue to sit in a location that is used solely for exhibitions, commercial events, and entertainment."

"I hope no one fell for Darrell Huckaby's unbelievable fairy tale on Wednesday, Oct. 12, about his mythical conversation with young men at an Occupy Wall Street rally. Real-life people, whether part of Occupy Wall Street or not, want Wall Street and corporate America to sink or swim just as the average citizen or small business has to do. Banks that received Bush's taxpayer-funded bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits. Many banks are building empires with bailout money instead of using it to make loans that help the economy. Bigger banks mean less competition and higher fees for the taxpayers who helped fund these deals. U.S. taxpayers were told the $700 billion financial-system bailout would create jobs by helping the economy. Occupy Wall Street is asking -- Where are the jobs? You can expect millions of dollars of our tax money to be spent on wining and dining Washington lawmakers. None of the banks have indicated plans to cut back on lobbying. Occupy Wall Street wants to change tax loopholes that allow multinational companies based in the U.S. to systematically avoid paying taxes in the U.S. on their profits. The companies elect to realize profits in low-tax countries and because of this the rest of us have to pay billions of dollars in taxes to make up for the shortfall. In 2010 GE reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. GE's American tax bill? -- Zero! In fact, GE claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion from the USA taxpayer. That's right! You and I paid GE $3.2 billion while their tax bill was zero! Don't believe that GE is the only company using these corporate tax loopholes. Leona Helmsley was correct when she said, 'We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.'"

"I attended yet another meeting at Flint Hill Elementary School last night. This was advertised as a 'Parent Academy.' Parents were invited to attend sessions that were to inform them about various academic programs in place at school and to help their children be successful learners. The last meeting I attended was the dedication of the new school. In both instances the number of faculty and staff members in attendance far exceeded the number of parents. Most faculty and staff had been at the school starting at 7 a.m. on both occasions. I believe the enrollment at FHES approaches 1,300 students! What's wrong with this picture? Where are the parents? Newspapers and the media are full of stories about teacher accountability these days. We should remember that teachers aren't the only ones who should be held accountable. Parents who dump their kids at the school door and never come inside unless there is something to be complained about don't make headlines in your paper. Parents who, as a matter of their convenience, let their children stay at home on school days don't make the paper. (They usually aren't even questioned by truancy authorities despite policies of the school board.) Parents who file fraudulent residency papers that allow their children to attend our schools when they live out of district and even out of county are not held accountable. The taxpayers of Newton County pay for this lack of oversight! The schools do bear a responsibility for educating our children, and I absolutely believe that teachers should be held accountable, but who should be more accountable than parents?"