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Newton Citizen Poll for June 30, 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.

"Over Memorial Day weekend my family took me to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II and the Vietnam War monuments. It is amazing the manner in which the National Park Service maintains and protects these monuments. I asked one of the park rangers if the city of Washington, D.C., was allowed to have sideshows and concerts near the monuments. He looked at me as if he thought I was crazy. I told him the city of Covington, Ga., did it all the time. He couldn't believe it. An article in your June 23 paper showed the picture of a man named Mack McKibben who said on July 4 a crowd of between 7,000 and 10,000 people would be at a music show on the Square where Newton County's War Memorial is located. I recommend that Mr. McKibben and the mayor of Covington place a large blue roofing tarp over this monument to prevent further desecration. I am a World War II vet (European Theater). I am sending a copy of this poll to Mr. McKibben and the mayor of Covington."

"I would like to say it is time for senior citizens to stop paying school taxes. We get nothing back but horrible schools that build huge buildings. The career academy has many empty rooms in it with less than 700 students. The new high school at NHS will seat 2,500 and there are 1,800 students. WHY the crazy building? And why won't board members answer as to why they cast votes of no to our new Superintendent? Why won't board members tell us how many of their family member are being hired? Let's begin a move to stop school taxes for senior citizens. They don't pay them in most other counties. Gwinnett never has. Maybe that will spur the COC to bring in some decent businesses to offset the tax revenue."


"How many more lives to be lost a Factory Shoals? When will there be a park ranger that responsible to walking path and camp site? These camp sites are overrun with drunk people every weekend."


"To the owner (or family of) the maroon Beaumont showcased in last weekend's classic car show... I am the individual who spoke with you guys about taking pictures for my 'adopted' troops in Afghanistan (from the www.adoptaussoldier.org group). Although I know I said it on Sunday, please know that I was very honored by your offer/financial gift to help with the next care package being sent out. If I had been thinking straight, I would have at least introduced myself and offered to shake your hand. However, I must admit, I was so shocked at the random act of kindness that for a few moments, I couldn't get out much of anything verbal, other than a stutter or two. From the bottom of my heart ... thank you for your prior service in our military, for your continued support of those currently serving, and for your generosity. This Saturday, a new package will be shipped to Frank (last name withheld for his privacy). It will contain many pictures from the car show, including that beautiful Beaumont (with notes of our chat), trail mix, cheese crackers, baseball cards, a harmonica, comic books ... and of course, the aforementioned mandatory supply of beef jerky ... enough to share, in fact."


"The tax hike crowd on the county commission has gotten very quiet. Are they starting to hear the sounds of their voters or are they in the full ignore mode? At least one is answering phone calls from unhappy constituents but so far, two are not. If there is one thing more career-ending in politics besides raising taxes in a difficult economy, it's ignoring your voters. We put you in office and you better take our calls and emails. Trying to pretend we aren't out here and hiding under the bed hoping all this will blow over is a recipe for political disaster. We are not going away even after you raise taxes, we will be here and you will have to answer to us eventually. There is still time to turn this issue around and vote no to higher taxes, to listen to the working men and women of Newton County and to act like we expect you to act once in office. Listening to the sweet sound of more and more money flowing into the county treasury at our expense is not why we elected you. We expect better from all of you. Ignore us at your own political peril."


"I sure hope Samantha Fuhrey shuts down the Bibb County to Newton County pipeline that seems to be starting for hiring in NCSS, particularly at Newton High. ... It was good to dismantle the leadership team at NHS before this got worse, thanks at least for that. Is NCSS setting itself up for some serious lawsuits and when is there going to be a non-black counselor at Alcovy High? It is outrageous to have a school counseling team that is 100 percent one race."


"First, I would like to tell the BOC that I am against a property tax increase (rollback). Also, I am not in favor of a user fee for the recycling center. If you are going to start charging user fees then why not do it for everything? Why not charge to use the parks, the library, to fish at the reservoir? If you have to charge a user fee, if you did it for all the county facilities it would not be that much and would affect everyone that uses county facilities, not just the people that use the recycling center. For the less fortunate give them a card that lets them use all the facilities for free. I'm sure they also use the recycling center, why put a burden on them?"

Comments

Frustrated 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I too am against the user fee for the recycling centers. We already pay taxes to run these centers and now the BOC wants us to PAY A FEE to use them? This is nothing more than double taxation. All members of the BOC need to remember the promises you made during your campaigns. There is nothing I hate more its a person that talks out of both sides of their mouth. If you said it to get elected you better follow through or you will have a short political career.

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dennistay53 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes this will not end with the tax increase vote. We will be there- organized against all increased tax issues. The citizens are starting to standup against your wasteful spending and poor planning. The Newton government should have learned on the closer votes on the last SPLOST and ESPLOST but yet they didn't. This movement will not go away after the tax increase vote.

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NewtonNeighbor 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I am tired of hearing people with no children in the public school system say they should not pay school taxes. If I choose not to drive a car, can I stop paying taxes that go to road improvements? Can I opt out of emergency services and not pay taxes for those things? If Medicare will be bankrupt before I retire can I stop paying now? The children in NCSS deserve better than they receive from our current school board. I am praying the new superintendent will be a change for the better. (I believe she will be.) The education of our children as a whole is a community concern as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

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John 9 months, 3 weeks ago

IF Newton County had a recognized "good" public school system property values would benefit (even the ag based acerages). The current NCSS & Directors seem to thing they should jsut spend, spend, spend on project that have little if any impact on benefiting the students education. Case in point the thought to replace EHS for a NEW one . The current facility is just a 18 years old (a mere teenager) and use it a a "theme' school and ""possibly" expand the scope of the current theme school. The jury is still out on the benefits of the now two year old "theme" school. New brick & motar does not make for better adminstration, students or teachers. The same with this Ombudsman project now it is being suggested that the tax payers need to "pony" up more money to control 43 students with behavioral issues. How has these NCSS students benefitted from this Ombudsman undertaking vs. having the old old "Sharp" program.? It is report card time on these "programs" - the taxpayers pay for this stuff they are deserving of a factual report (no popcorn talk - just facts) on the progress or lack of progress. Other NCSS ideas have died the death of a rag doll with a big hole for the stuffing to come out. My experiences has shown it is less expensive to do something in house vs paying real money to an outside contractor.

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TruthDetector 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Voters in Newton County need to show up at the BOC meeting at 6 p.m. show up early with your signs and loud voices to oppose the tax increase on July 16th. Remember the names of the tax increase supporters and never let them hold elected office again. I have no sympathy for the BOE either they have wasted our money on give aways in the amount of 70K and they have allowed unruly hiring to go crazy in NCSS. Read the paper for goodness sake they cannot even bring themselves to cut wasteful spending on buses that is the backbone of the BOE. Vote them all out and start over in every new election on city council BOE and BOC and specially the ones voted to support tax increases.

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livingart 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope, finally, all Newton Citizens are sick of the waste of money by the BOC and BOE. Property owners CANNOT be the "never ending full pockets of money" to be wasted by elected/appointed officials. We are really close to being the final straw on that famous camel........

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John 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe someone needs to look at the hours of operation of all recycle centers - the library cut their hours of operation. Our local center off of Hwy 142 is open four days a week from 7am to 7pm (two of those days are Saturday & Sunday). The other 3 days they are open from 9 am to 7 pm. For starters, as a minimum it does not need to be open12 hours on a Sunday (how about 6 hours) and being open until 7pm on Saturday is very questionable. In the past I have brought to the attention of the attendant at the recycle center a vehicle with other than a Newton county license plate - the response "Oh I know that guy he used to live in Newton County a long time but now lives in that other county but still owns property in Newton - me thinks this was a popcorn answer as I heard the same comment from a different attendant at a differnt time. Hey, it is like law enforcement that turns the other cheek on traffic law violators - don't enforce the rules/laws "People Go Wild".

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shaftedcitizen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I am getting tired of the complaining about the tax rollback without any suggestions on how to fix the problem, so here is mine

On the recycling centers, close them. Many times I pass these centers and nobody is using them. Have a weekly recycling day and curbside pickup. With curbside pickup you don’t have to worry about someone from another county using this service.

Have all non essential government jobs changed to half days on Wednesday. A friend of mine says jasper county does this and has always done this.

If a residence or business has a alarm system after the third false alarm for the year charge a fine. This includes alarms from the schools.

The sheriffs office could start taking reports online. I have checked other jurisdiction do this for non violent offenses.

The tax assessor could go after property owners not paying their taxes ( banks with foreclosed properties).

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dennistay53 9 months, 3 weeks ago

@saftedcitizen- I would add to what you said with this- In many years of business i learned you have to sacrifice a few workers for the good of the many. Most of the time you endup hiring them back when conditions improve. Freeze hiring- you may need to hire temporary workers at time but you save money. I would say shut down all day wednesday if needed. Get rid of one either the county mgr or fulltime chairman. Long term use SPLOST for what it was intended for- To lower tax burden on business and home owners not increase the burden as it is being done now. Cut the huge legal expenses. Keep clear and complete records of where tax dollars are spent. Have a 6 year plan on needs for the sheriff and fire departments so equipment needs can be funded through SPLOST and not on the property owners only.

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jjhayden3rd 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If we didn’t have any government, we wouldn’t have to pay any taxes. This seems to be the underlying theme behind the TeePartier, anarchists and other antisocial dunderheads who seem to be able to spend time and gas money to show up at events in public places while the silent majority is at work trying to make ends meet. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we find that These People, are part of our society and when we do things like having a local government to take on the common problems, like roads, public safety, health and a justice system, they not only get to partake in the benefits of these resources, they have the right (until the regressives in the legislatures stop us) to speak their opinions on any topic that wish. Just remember, opinions are like heads, everyone has one.

So to these would be free-loaders: you are living in a society, not a desert island, by yourself. Taxes are what we pays as dues to have the quality of life we expect in Newton County. If you really want a county with almost no taxes, move to Mississippi where there are places that are worse that 3rd world countries.

If you want a place with good roads, schools, and all the other things that make a place worth calling home, then pay up. It’s your duty.

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jjhayden3rd 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Now you got me started!

No matter what we do, there is a finite amount of land/space for waste landfill in Newton County.

By my direct observation 50% to 75% of users of our “recycling” center do not even attempt to recycle anything. They park near the compactor and stuff bag after bag into it then drive away. The next most abused collection point is “bulk waste” which collects things people are prevented, by size or sometime staff from forcing into the compactor. Where do they think items from the compactor and bulk waste go? Into the landfill is where they go.

Here’s my suggestion: every resident of Newton County should have a hang-tag with a magnetic strip that they use when they enter a recycling center. The weight of their vehicle is recorder going in and again when coming out. All recyclable material is weighed as it is put in its bins. You would receive a statement when leaving that charges you for material going into the land fill and credits you for material that can be recycled. At the end of the year you get a statement from the county showing what you owe or what is due to you for your recycled materials.

You want recycling that actually works and pays for its self? Here’s a way to do it.

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

@jjhayden3rd, You solution sounds like Obamacare on steriods. A few key elements missing from this "unique" bureacrcy creating solution is: 1. The vehicles fuel tank - see gasoline weighs approximately 8 lbs/gallon. A 20 gallon tank holds 160 lbs. of fuel. So if had your vehicle weighed w/a full fuel than to get a hang tag & you use the same vehicle all year long and take "stuff' to the recycle center with say fuel level at 1/4 full (5 gallons) and only had 30 lbs of trash each trip. You would have a negative balance due - would NC reimburse you for hauling away 90 lbs. of "stuff" each trip? 2. How would you propse handling the difference in the number of passengers in the vehicle at time of "weigh-in", let say one and you only go to the recycle center on your way to church with the whole family once a week?
3. Since you included the whole (every resident) of Newton County in your solutions, would this mean that those living in the City fo Covington now have to take all their yard debris to the recycle center so they can be charged by the pound farely? 4. How would you handle a vehicle change or changes to the same vehicle during the year? Or if someone would convert their vechicle to CNG - those CNG tanks are much heavier than a standard stamped metal fuel tank (NC for some reason is going to build a CNG fill station adn I'm certain teh progressive folks will want to change right away) 5. Maybe it is back to the drawing board for a solution

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dennistay53 9 months, 2 weeks ago

@jjhayden3rd. Guess i am one you are talking about above. I am not a member of either party nor the tea party. But i do know that most of the freeloaders in our society are members of or vote democrat. It is very easy to want to spend other peoples money as long as you don't have to spend your own. Yes we have to have a government but the debate should be how big the government needs to be and what can be afforded. Newton County millage rate is one of only 8 in the state over 35 mill combined. So the property owners and business owners- both democrat, republican, independents already are burdened more so than most counties. Check it out at the Ga Dept of revenue.

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Bemused 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I do hope you realize that most people who are on public assistance in the U.S., and specifically in Georgia, are white people. President Obama didn't capture much of the white vote in GA so your argument that the "freeloaders in our society are member of or vote democrat" is false.

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dennistay53 9 months, 2 weeks ago

You know about every entry you post has something to do with race. Nothing in my comment is about race. I believe i'm right in saying that many whites vote democrat. for the life of me I don't understand why any democrat would support a local tax increase under the economy we have now with 9.3% local unemployment. Unlike federal and state tax there is no deductions for local tax. so a tax increase hurts what is SUPPOSED to be the democrat base- poor working class and poor business. Everytime these poor go to buy a tag they will have to pay this 35 mill just like the millionaire. But the millionaire will be able to afford to trade their new car in and go under the new system. I guess it is still the old politics where if one party is for it the other is automatically against it.

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dennistay53 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This is what people aren't getting. Yes my family could afford $50 more a month. Who this hurts are the working poor and middle class, not the rich. It's not just on homeowners and business. Everytime someone goes to buy their tags under the old system they will pay the new 36 mill rate on the value of their vehicles. The rich will just trade their cars in, buy new ones and go under the new tag system. And tax increases WILL affect getting companies, business and jobs from coming in. The only way to fix this county is to increase the tax base and jobs. This tax increase would not even be talked about if the $750,000 landfill payments had been included in the 2011 SPLOST as debt reduction.

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

jjhayden3rd, Let see from a cost standpoint What would be the net cost savings after buying & installing such scales, the cost of training employees to use the scales properly, periodic inspection and maintaince of the scales and additional employee or two to handle the weigh-in, way outs and the added space needed to handle the traffic back-ups at entry & exits?

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dennistay53 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Still laughing my head off about comments a Local Democrat Party officier made at last nights County commissioner meeting during citizens comments. He said all that were against the millage rate increase should move out of Newton and move to one of the poor south georgia counties. Laughing because a party official wouldn't do his research. Newton is a poor county. Poorer than many south ga counties according to per capti income from the 2010 census. Georgia per capti income $25,098 compared to Newton's $22,158. Per capti for south ga counties glynn 27,273, chatham 25,240, houston 25,192, lee 23,716, And Newton getting poorer every day. Sir we don't have to move as we already live in a poor county lol

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