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Newton Citizen Poll for June 16, 2013

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 poll@newtoncitizen.com or call 770-483-7108, ext. 403. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.

"The Old Man sent a letter to our congressman several weeks ago. Since they were on vacation or whatever they call it, I sent it to the Georgia office. Never heard from him. When I wrote the president I got a letter back right away. I know it was a form letter, but at least it was acknowledged. Since I didn't hear from my congressman I waited until they were back in session and I sent it to Washington. I figured it was setting on an aide's desk in Georgia waiting to be shredded. I still didn't get an answer. I don't think I was too harsh. I asked why Congress thought Social Security and Medicare were welfare programs. My wife and I are both 85 and had been paying into it for a long time. I told him I realized that they expected us to die before now, but we didn't comply. I asked what happened to the Social Security and Medicare money of those who died when they had paid into it and were in their 30s or 40s. I think I might have asked a few more questions but then I had to ask, when is Congress going to start thinking about their constituents more and less time trying to get reelected. I guess maybe the aides didn't like that. Now, of course, I am beginning to think that Congress believes the only part of We the People are those who sit in Congress."


"I watched a video of our school board meeting recently and it is just shameful. Eddie Johnson was ranting and raving and shouting about educational assassination and calling things insulting. Do any of these people use proper English? C'mon, school board. Either use proper English or stay mute during meetings. The chair let the thing get totally out of control. What a shame that this is our board of miseducation."


"I live in East Newton County and I refuse to drive anywhere near downtown Covington, much less patronize any business located there. Most of the time you will encounter blocked streets, detours, and sometimes entire neighborhoods blocked off along with a completely closed Square. I always thought streets were put in place to enhance commerce and travel and not to be closed for private and trivial events."


"Less than a year ago, the people of Newton County spoke loud and clear on raising taxes when the transportation sales tax was defeated here soundly. Now we have a new county commission that has not been in place six months and they already want to raise our property taxes. Supposedly Republicans are for lower taxes and smaller government, but the Republican chairman of our county commission has not said one word to discourage this tax hike. How disappointing! Well, I voted for him and I am watching closely. I hope he reads this Citizen Poll.The commissioners' meeting to set the tax rate is Tuesday, June 18, at 7 p.m. in the Old Courthouse on the Square in Covington. I plan to be there and make my feelings known."


"When will the county commissioners stop worrying about reelection and just make a decision on the budget and the best interest of the citizens of this county. It's common sense the only way to balance the budget and maintain services is to adjust the property tax. For the last several years property values have been going down; therefore, you pay less taxes. Adjust the tax rate bring the taxes back to where they need to be and no services will be lost. This would also allow the county commissioners to at least give a cost of living increase to county employees since it has been six years since anyone has received a pay increase."


"My house is outside the city limits of Covington, but I do get a utility gas bill from the city of Covington. The last three bills I received contained a weird letter from Ronnie Johnston, mayor. This is a tear-jerking letter depicting someone in Covington who is unable to pay their heating bill and they may be cold and have to use extra sweaters and blankets. He is asking for donations to be sent to an organization called H.E.A.T. It is my understanding that the Covington utility bills demand payment in the aggregate or one sum total instead of one being able to pay each service individually or piecemeal. In other words, if your gas service is turned off for nonpayment, then your electricity, water and sanitation services are also cut off. If a disconnected (or a non-disconnected) customer is lucky enough to get assistance from H.E.A.T., then a part of that money would have to pay for the other services also before their gas could be turned back on. In other words, in Covington, all your services have to be paid before any individual one can be connected. Covington is the only city I am aware of that holds this kind of brutal power over its citizens."


"I totally agree with the writer who suggested in a recent opinion poll that the Newton County Commissioners should enact an ordinance that would authorize the police/sheriff to write tickets to motorists who transport bags of garbage on the hoods and trunks of automobiles and to drivers of pickup trucks who do not have garbage covered with a tarp. The writer suggested fines of $150 for automobiles and $100 for uncovered garbage on pickup trucks. Piggy backing on the suggestion, road signs with big, bright and bold lettering should be posted throughout the county to inform people about the ordinance once it is enacted. A portion of the fines collected could, perhaps, be used to support the Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful program which is woefully underfunded ($129,476 budget for 2013). Case in point, about a year ago, I asked the KCNB about posting a few litter warning signs at strategic points on specified roads where littering had reached epidemic levels and was told that it could not be done due to the lack of funds to purchase signs. Lastly, I encourage fellow citizens of Newton County to contact your commissioner and encourage him or her to work vigorously toward drafting an ordinance that would aid law enforcement in tackling the litter problem. Ask your homeowner associations (HOAs) to, also, contact the county commissioners for their support."

Comments

dennistay53 1 year, 1 month ago

My property value hasn't gone down in the last 3 years. There are many in the private sector who haven't had a raise in 6 years and still won't. There are many who have had to take pay cuts or much lower paying jobs. Many who lost there jobs. Why should government employees think they should be treated better? Suck it up, live within your means and be thankful you have a job. If you don't want your government job under the condition you have, do us a favor and quit. Let someone who will appreciate it work.

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shaftedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

Are you volunteering to go into a burning house, respond to a crime in progress or maintain our roads. Obviously you take these men and women for granted.

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dennistay53 1 year, 1 month ago

There would be money for safety if it wasn't wasted elsewhere. I have fought fires before. Why do we have a chairman and county mgr? One goes you have money for safety. If the county executives cared about supporting the safety department they would be pushing the ga Legislature to change SPLOST so it could be used to hire and maintain Sheriff and Fire fighters. So before you aski me these questions go ask the ones running the county why they do nothing about trying to change SPLOST so it can be used for most important. I have been doing this as a private citizen. Do you think building an Agriculture center is more importantant than taking care of our safety departments? The county does. Do you think it is more important to pay the county attorney an outrageous sum of money ahead of fire and sheriff? The county executives seem to.

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livingart 1 year, 1 month ago

Well said....Truth hurts the people who are blind to it.......

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eyewitness 1 year, 1 month ago

Do we know yet why Almond Turner and Eddie Johnson voted against Mrs. Fuhrey? Do we know why and if we do not know why then why is no one pressing them to tell us why? They represent the voters and when they vote unlike we would want them to we deserve an answer?

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shaftedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

What I want to know is what are the county commissioners doing to keep our current county employees. Its simple to say if you don’t like your working conditions, salary or benefits just move on. Its not that government employees should be treated better, its common sense. Firefighters and law enforcement are trained at our expense. They are required to receive additional training annually. Some of them receive specialized training again at our expense. Newton County has trained and lost a lot of good people all due to financial issues. It is my understanding county employees do not receive overtime for working over. In the case of firefighters think about it, sorry your house is burning but its time for me to go home. Or law enforcement sorry you got robbed but I’m going home its the end of my shift. Our public works employee do a excellent job of maintaining our roads. There again training is involved. Wake up Newton County its not that public employees are any better, but we paid to train them lets keep them.

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dennistay53 1 year, 1 month ago

The reason county employees are not taken care of is entirely the fault of the government NOT property owners. They have failed in getting quality growth and jobs to Newton County that would raise revenues and increase the tax base. The property owners support this county moreso than in most any other county in ga. Problem is the property owners have to support MOST of the government. While the property owners are giving their support the board has chosen that it is more important to support 4th district projects than fire and sheriff.

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shaftedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree and disagree with you I have a neighbor who is a dispatcher and she has told me some of the problems public safety faces. Law enforcement respond daily to false alarms many from the same residences, business’s and public school's. We have a county ordinance for false alarms why isn’t it enforced. The fines could pay for fuel and maintenance. EMS is dispatched to sore teeth, feat and fevers problems that are not emergency’s and waste tax payer money As for the commissioner and manager get rid of one.

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livingart 1 year, 1 month ago

And - all surrounding counties have no School Tax for seniors and are making budgets just fine. I was told NCSS could not meet budget without the Seniors taxes. This is so sad on so many levels.....

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BenFranklin 1 year, 1 month ago

The chairman wants every department to cut 5% so he should start with himself. Go to part time and put your money where your mouth is. We don't need a full time chairman aka full time meeting planner. The county manager does just fine.

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dennistay53 1 year, 1 month ago

Out of 169 ga counties Newton already has the 7th highest combined millage rate in the state. If you consider that two of these (Rockdale and DeKalb has 1 less sales tax and they don't have SPLOST plus they don't have Local option sales tax that ALL goes to the government. They have a HOST tax instead where much going to raise homestead exemptions. Newton Homestead $4000 wheras DeKalb and Rockdale last check was around $15,000. So Newton is probably around 5th highest combined millage in state before next increase and one of only 8 above 35 mills. They have enough money it just needs to be redirected

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