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. 1101. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"This Carpenter situation needs to get resolved quickly because it is tearing the school system apart and damaging the credibility of a system that is already faltering. We have real problems with education in this county and this situation has become a divisive thorn that is keeping us from the job of educating children. The crux of this problem is, once they became involved, the school board should have insisted that one of them resign. That being said, it doesn't change the fact that there are serious problems at AHS that need to be addressed. Teachers and parents are frustrated and feel that they have no voice; if they follow the chain of command and go to Human Resources, they get no support because of the husband/wife connection. They feel their concerns can be voiced only through anonymous (comments) on the Internet and these do not foster constructive dialogue. However, these postings are a guaranteed right of freedom of speech under the Constitution and any attempt to curtail this right is unconstitutional and results in a totalitarian state. This suit is counter-productive and has led to all kinds of allegations. Please let cooler heads prevail and get this mess resolved so we can place our energy and resources on educating the children of Newton County."
"My wife and I bought a home in Covington and retired here seven years ago. The more we learn about the city, the more we wonder if we should have retired some place else. The Covington Police Department seems to operate as a government to themselves. No one seems to control them. When we go to church on Sunday everyone seems to have a bad opinion of them. ... We are old and we have never seen a police department act like this."
"Interesting article in the AJC on May 6. A 17-year-old girl was killed in an auto accident on April 29 and the boy driving the car was immediately charged with vehicular homicide, improper lane change and reckless driving. Same thing happens in Newton County in late January and the girl (involved in the accident) has never been charged. She was out at 3 a.m. after ... a party and crossed over the center line and hit this woman's car head-on. The difference: the girl from Newton County is from a wealthy, well-connected family and the boy from Gwinnett is a minority. Wonder how much money and other favors it has taken to keep the Newton girl from being charged and the newspapers quiet?"
Editor's note: Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said Friday the investigation into the accident is ongoing.
"I want to comment this week on the situation at Alcovy High School with the principal. I have two students at Alcovy and I have been very dissatisfied. Since when is it a crime to tell the truth about somebody? Dr. Carpenter should be ashamed suing these people. They're just speaking their opinion. The teachers are frustrated with what they're going through. Not only have they had their salaries cut but they have to serve under an ineffective principal. The administration has not solved any of my problems this year. My children, who have no discipline record, have never been in trouble, have been bullied several times this year. When I complain and ask for the principal, I'm always referred to the assistant principal because Dr. Carpenter doesn't have time to attend to this matter. She's busy with other matters. She should have time to run her school and be a good principal. There are some really good teachers at Alcovy and my children have been fortunate to have some of them. I can see the frustration they're going through. They don't have anybody to back them up in the matters that are important that they need to be backed up in. I can also see there is not any discipline at Alcovy. All you have to do to find the truth is walk through the halls and be there when classes are changing ... there is trash all over the floors, filthy language, students laying all over each other ... I'm not stupid. When I go up there I see it with my own eyes. I don't have to have somebody tell me. I'm in that school quite a bit. We need an effective principal in our high school. Dr. Mathews, please do your job. You earn a very inflated salary, much more than any of our teachers will ever see who get out there and do the real work. Please, please help us get somebody who is an effective administrator before next year. The students are paying the price because people are not doing their jobs."
"I was impressed reading Mr. Phil Johnson's remarks regarding his reason for running for Board of Commissioners. He, like myself, has been concerned with the contentiousness of the board of late and the practice of two members who conscript a third member and block discussion and prevent passage of various programs as they see fit. We citizens never expected to elect dictators but that is what these members were creating. I'm glad that this will be halted in the future. The community will be well served by members who strive for consensus and hopefully come up with solutions and solve problems that this area faces."
"I was calling about the gay marriage situation. I agree with Romney on that. It's always been a man and a woman getting married and on top of everything else, just look at how ridiculous it looks for two men or two women getting married. That's pathetic. Thank you."
"I have a problem with the Newton County recreation department. I paid money for my son to play baseball in the recreation department for 10 years now. He's played spring ball and fall ball each year since he was 4 years old. This is his last season with Dixie Boys. It seems that several games have been canceled and haven't been rescheduled. The money we're having to pay for these boys to play ball now has increased each and every year since we started this and I expect him to play each and every game. In years past, sometimes he's been on a team that had a losing record and had games rained out and they said those games wouldn't be made up because their team was in a losing area where they wouldn't have a chance of winning anyhow so there wasn't any need in making these games up. Well, this year if these games are not made up, I am going to be very upset. So far he hasn't had a rain out game, but there's probably going to be some come along before the season ends. They're already so far behind. I expect him to play each and every game I paid for. If that's not what happens this year, I'm going to call my attorney and see if I can't recoup some of my money. It's about time they understand their price increases are a burden on these parents and families that have to come up with this money so their kids can play something they love so much. This is about the kids, it's not about the sports authority or the recreation department, it's all about the kids wanting to play baseball. If they say these games are not going to be made up I'm going to be one angry parent. I expect each and every game for the money I pay. This is something that I think needs to be brought to everyone's attention about the recreation department in Newton County."
"The magnanimity of Mr. and Mrs. Kalonji should be a model for the community. The Canoles are lucky. You can get arrested and have your guns confiscated in Newton County when you interfere with the legal owners of land on their land. And that's the way it should be. What if a gun had gone off accidentally? What if this couple had been strip searched as the Supreme Court has said is totally permissible? I believe the Canoles are sorry and apologized only because they got into trouble. Anybody (with any sense) could have looked at that couple and seen they were not burglars, when they saw them up close. How many 57-year-old women of any color burgle anything?"
"The Old Man would like to talk in general today. Now if anything I say might offend you, please don't file a lawsuit against me. Just take it with a grain of salt and laugh it off as a demented old man. We have laws in this country and I realize that many of them were on the books in years past, but they are still there. In most parts they are not followed only when it is advantageous to someone. We do have laws that say illegal means it is not legal. There are many in this country that came here, followed the rules, got a job and pay their share of the taxes. So why is Congress holding back? Are they afraid they might lose a vote? I know that when the Irish came into this country they had to have a sponsor and for a long time they were treated like the Chinese, the blacks and any other nationality that illiterates didn't care for. Well not only illiterates but many of those who made the laws at that time. There has been enough said about health benefits, school benefits and other benefits that you and I don't have unless we pay for them. And then there are those who shack up, have kids and then divorce to go on to the next one. Can you imagine how their kids will grow up? Let us hope they have more sense than their parents. Now let's take God. There are some people who would like to get rid of Him. What do we look up to then -- drugs, money, sex? And what are the Kardashians?"
"Some weeks ago I saw an article about the new Newton airport building costing around $1.5 million to build. I would like the Citizen to look into this some more, as I can recall the building was only around 2,700 square feet so I would like to know why a building of this size is costing so much to build. I would also like to know why $500,000 of our SPLOST money will be used to help build this airport and what the benefits will be for the local citizen."
I would like to give the Newton County schools system a big round of applause! My child is in the eighth grade in Newton county, and last week he brought me a letter saying that he had failed the math part of the CRCT. Then he tells me the next day that out of 80-something eigth-graders 78 failed the math part. I have also talked to other parents around the county, and found out that all the middle school have had results like this. I think the results all over the county show that the school system is not doing their job in teaching our children what they need to know to pass the CRCT. Come on Newton county school system get it together for our children! We are having students that make straight A's fail this test, so someone is not doing their job at the BOE or in each middle school, but I don't think we can put blame on the teachers of Newton county because they're just teaching what they are given by the state/county. As I said before let's get it together Newton County, so we don't have to go through this next year as well. Concerned parent of an eighth-grader!"
"I have only seen signs for one person running for sheriff, please tell me there are others running."
Editor's note: So far, Sheriff Ezell Brown is running for re-election. Bill Watterson and Philip Bradford have also announced their intention to run. Qualifying for the election opens Wednesday, May 23.----
"Kudos to the Newton County Sheriff's Department for their prompt action in disciplining the deputies concerned in the Kalonji/ Canoles incident."