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 emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-787-7303, ext. 1349. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"Newton County has countless softball/baseball fields, but the one field equipped for children with special needs must be paid for by private donations (Miracle League). Newton County has a list of parks with playgrounds, yet the one park that will be handicap accessible so most children will be able to enjoy and play must be paid for by private donations (Chimney Park). Our county is large yet does not offer therapeutic recreation programs, which would provide outlets for all children to participate and be active (disabled individuals must go to Rockdale County, who thankfully willingly open their doors to our children). We are not talking about increasing budgets or raising taxes. It is standard for 10 percent of a county's recreation budget to fund inclusive programs for special needs children and adults, yet Newton County chooses to ignore a very special section of their citizens."
"After the Connecticut school shootings, the information was sketchy and changed hourly for several days. This occurred in the U.S an hour from New York. Yet Republicans are still complaining that Obama did not have the exact information about the Benghazi attack immediately afterwords, and call it a coverup. It takes time to sort through the information when an unexpected tragedy takes place."
"It really concerns me that the president has filed lawsuits over states trying to protect their borders, but when some states pass laws legalizing marijuana he says the Justice Department has 'bigger fish to fry.' You have states trying to enforce federal laws and they get sued by the federal government. Then you have states passing laws in direct conflict with federal laws and they turn a blind eye. Is this now a nation of selective enforcement or is it becoming a nation of just what the president has for his personal agenda and wants to enforce? He used immigration lawsuits to further his political career and some were too blind to see it."
"I am a advocate for owning firearms and hunting. I own guns myself and have all my life. But, I have never owned an assault rifle or handgun. I have never seen the need for these. I have known people who have and always wondered why. Ego trip I guess. My father taught me how to shoot and hunt. I was never allowed to have more than three bullets with me when I went hunting. My father always said, if you can't kill a deer with one shot, you're not a very good shot and need to practice more. If it takes you two shots you need to consider if you need to be hunting at all. If it takes you three shots, you need to stop hunting. These assault rifles and hand guns, semi or full automatic, are nothing but people guns and should be banned. There is no reason to have one. If you want home defense, then get a single shot weapon. You can stop someone that way. How can we stop these assault weapons? You can't. Most are not registered. The way to do it is prohibit the sale of all automatic ammunition. It may take some time but the brass will eventually run out and then you can't even reload the ammo. Then you have a lot of really neat wall hangers. These tragedies ... have to stop! This is just one way to stop it. Just thought I would put it out there."
"Commissioner-elect John Douglas wrote a nice argument for Emergency Action Plans in the other paper today. Board member Jeff Meadors has stated here that some are ignoring the plans in place. Thank you both for being open and honest but if you look at this public website, for example, you see that many schools are not reporting and possibly not doing drills required by state. If they are not reported, how do we know if they took place. For example, Alcovy High School has failed to do 21 required state fire drills in the last three years. Veterans reports none in three years but Oak Hill has done 100 percent of them so I think the data is accurate. What does NCSS have to say for schools like Alcovy that are failing to follow the law? Here is the link:
"I'm so sad that I drop my daughter off at school and police are standing there. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there is police presence in light of what has happened. But it's so sad that as parents we have to talk with our kids about such things. Another thing that has me really worried is a teacher can't lock her classroom door from the inside. They must open the door and use their key to lock the door and then shut it. Maybe this county should think about SPLOST to pay for resource officers for the schools. A SPLOST could pay to install security systems at each door of a school and a video feed into the front office and the sheriff's office. I for one would have no problem voting for the security of my child."
"I would like to thank the wonderful men and woman at the Elks Lodge on Crowell Road for the awesome Christmas party for the Special Olympics athletes. Not only did you guys make our athletes feel special but also their siblings. My children had a wonderful time and loved the gifts from Santa. I know that you will be blessed for your kind deeds. Merry Christmas and again thank you for putting a twinkle in my children's eyes."
"I was calling about the article in the poll on Dec. 16 about the Alabama fan. He just took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn't agree with him more. I think he's right on the ball. Thank you for your comment. Roll Tide and sting 'em Jackets."
"I was calling about the article in the poll about food stamps. There are people who do the best they can and have to have foods stamps, but to the ones who are too sorry to work and require assistance, let the chips fall where they may. I realize there are some people who just can't get a job. But at the same time I also realize there are a lot of people who'd rather get food stamps than work. Simple as that. They're too sorry to work."