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"Last Thursday, March 28, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Keith Ellis, our recently elected chair for Newton County. This meeting was by totally dumb luck. See Newton County Public Works, road and maintenance department, as in our subdivision doing some 'inner tube' type patching of our subdivision roads in District 1. While I was out walking my dog and getting a bit of exercise, I noticed a gray/silver SUV with some flashing lights going and the closer I got to it, it sure enough had a Newton County emblem with the name CHAIR underneath it. So I stopped to inquire if the plans after this patch job was to resurface the entire road like was done in a nearby subdivision a year ago. Well, lo and behold, that person was Keith Ellis and we shook hands. He explained funds are not available for a complete resurfacing this year -- funding source for last year's projects is not available this year. He went on to say as far as road work goes, he is just trying to put out the hottest fires first. Then he did two things that impressed me. First, he advised he was in the field working with on-site supervisors to see how they can better estimate how long it will take to complete a job and get moving on to the next fire in a more timely manner. Now that is leadership and should be setting an example for those that are classified directors -- seems like efficiency training is part of the responsibility of operating directors/managers/supervisors to me -- certainly not in the Top Dog's job description. But anyone who is a hands-on type guy is OK in my book. Don't need desk jockeys. So I put Mr. Ellis to a test. See since January, I have been contacting the Public Works Department about three very tall pine trees (50-60 feet) that are sitting very near the west side edge of a steep embankment that appear to be on easements and leaning very close and eastward towards the above ground power, telephone and cable lines and a utility pole. I showed Mr. Ellis the trees and informed him that I have called Public Works three different times with little action. A person who I later was advised was the director did come out in January to look at it advised me that he would need to contact the city of Covington or Snapping Shoals or whoever but committed to getting back to me. Well, about three weeks passed with no return call. So I did a follow-up call and left a message for whoever is in charge to call me. Nothing happened again and I called again in two more weeks. I spoke to a person and was informed that the director was in charge has yet to act on this issue (make a phone call to the city of Covington) as they are all so very busy and the director didn't have time to talk to me. Hmmm! I say an ounce of prevention always costs less than a pound of cure. Mr. Ellis took notes and he asked me to ID the trees and wrap a rope around each one -- which I did within five minutes of the request and it was new, clean white braided dock rope at that. The next day (Good Friday) two employees from the city of Covington were at the site assessing the situation. So far Mr. Ellis gets a gold star and a thank you. When the trees come down he will earn an A-plus from my address and a bigger thank you. Mr. Ellis has a big job to do but by eating that proverbial elephant one bite at a time, he has demonstrated to me, he will make positive changes and a difference in Newton County."
"I was at (a local restaurant) last week and saw two men come up to a man at the bar and bully him. They went outside and the police came. How can someone harass another person and not be arrested? This man was doing nothing but sitting there and this man who was obviously a bully threatened him. What has happened to society?"
"When are those that are hired to 'protect and serve' going to start enforcing traffic laws, especially on a holiday weekend? On Saturday, March 30, I was traveling east on 278 near the intersection of Covington Bypass/MLK Blvd./Eagle Drive, etc. and was following a black Ford Expedition both traveling about 45 mph and a city of Covington Police Officer was stopped at the red light on the north bound side of the Bypass, two cars back from that wide white line. As the SUV approached the traffic light, it turned from green to yellow, which means per my copy of the DDS manual, slow down and be prepared to stop. Apparently, the driver of this 4,000-plus pound SUV thought it meant to accelerate as fast as possible to 'beat' the red light 'cause they were in a hurry, as that is exactly what he did and the light turned red while he was still in the intersection. I had ample time to stop with just normal braking on the yellow and IMO the SUV did too. If the officer was paying any attention at all he or she would have seen it and proceeded to execute the job he/she was being paid to do. Guess what the city of Covington officer just continued traveling towards I-20 and Walmart at a normal speed. PS: There are no planned accidents but they can be minimized by following written laws that are enforced by those that are empowered to do so and have taken an oath to do so -- if they can or won't get a new career not just another pay check."
"Kudos go out to the staff (especially the cashier) at Bullritos. The free chicken burrito giveaway on 4/1 was a wonderful treat, and the staff handled the pressure and crowd with amazing control and professionalism. Thank you very much!"
It becomes obvious why Obama cannot balance a budget. Now he wants banks and mortgage companies to allow people with bad credit to qualify for a home loan? Was he on another planet during the fiasco caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Just what America needs right now, another idiotic plan to put people in homes they cannot afford! What is it going to take for people who put Obama back in the White House to realize they made a horrendous mistake? May God help us as this lunacy continues."
"It is shameful that we have school board members serving many years who have allowed us to be two years away from a $3 million deficit. The same people have wasted $300k on the school that won't pay its bills. It worries me that these people are in charge of hiring our next superintendent. We in the community want someone who lives in Newton. Will this board honor their word and use our input?"
"I was calling about the Atlanta School System's troubles. I know back in my day there were a lot of students who got paddlings for cheating and it's disgusting to think some educators will cheat for the students. I think they deserve whatever they get."---
"I was calling about the crime rate in Atlanta. It just seems to me like they are out of one tragedy into another. I don't know what's worse -- the common criminals or the educated criminal. It reminds me of the old Tombstone days, back with Wyatt Earp."