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 email@example.com 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.
"Did the Newton County (school) board members who were present for a 'public matter' -- that is ESPLOST -- on Tuesday night, March 5, violate the Open Meetings Act of the state of Georgia? There was a quorum present at the meeting and they spoke out on a "public matter." Did they plan this? Did they know there would be a quorum? Here is what the law states defines a meeting and it requires notice to the public: "Meeting means: (i) The gathering of a quorum of the members of the governing body of an agency at which any official business, policy, or public matter of the agency is formulated, presented, discussed, or voted upon; or (ii) The gathering of a quorum of any committee of the members of the governing body of an agency or a quorum of any committee created by the governing body at which any official business, policy, or public matter of the committee is formulated, presented, discussed, or voted upon."
"Just interested in why the stock report has been removed from the Citizen."
(Editor's Note: We have changed wire service and that feature is no longer available to us. We regret any inconvenience to our readers.)
"I would like to express my agreement with the person writing to the poll regarding the visual impressions the city of Covington is making to visitors and residents alike. I certainly agree that Madison is overall a visually more pleasant place than Covington. Look at the scruffy Newton Plaza which has been there for decades yet has never remodeled the parking areas to include small areas with trees and shrubs. Looking down 278 one sees a hodgepodge of garishly colored, oversizes signs that give our main drag a tacky appearance. It's high time this town adopted a much more comprehensive plan to improve the impression we make. Towns all over Georgia and Florida have dramatically improved their looks and in doing so benefited their local businesses and their employees. Visual appearance is important, however, an even larger issue is the pitiful lack of shopping choices and restaurants. When Belk left town for Conyers men like me lost the only place in town for quality clothing. I recently bought two suits from Dillard's so I had to pay sales taxes to DeKalb County and Lithonia for the $800 spent. I also must say that I think our town Square is a huge asset to our town, however, it will never be the economic engine our local leaders dream about. Along with continuing to push for businesses on the Square we should develop a plan to improve the HWY 278 area. As regards the people moving to Georgia to work for Baxter International I think we will see very few of these newcomers buying a house here. Those with school age children will be the first to reject our county, and with very good reason. We pay some of the highest school taxes in the state yet our schools underperform across the board. An interesting fact is that Newton County spends more that twice per student per year than good private schools charge for tuition. One notable private school 18 miles from Covington is a great comparison with 100 percent of graduates being accepted into a college. How many more decades of poor performance can we expect? Occasionally I interview local students applying for a job. I am sorry to say very few have the verbal or math skills to perform well in any workplace, and if you are looking for a skilled trade like welding and electrical, good luck. As everyone should know, education starts in the home and the parent or parents should do their best to look, act, and perform like a successful person. One doesn't need an office job to be successful. The other day I stood behind a father and two sons in a check-out line. The father appeared to be around 40 years old and his sons were in early teens. All wore baggy pants and tacky t-shirts displaying vulgar images. The father had a mohawk that was hard not to laugh at. Men, please, drop the cartoon character looks and the bad biker guy persona as all of this becomes ridiculous when you whip out the EBT card to buy food. Real men pay their own way, Right?"
"Recently, a car dealership built a beautiful new facility ... I wish they would spend a few more dollars to replace their large American flag which is in tatters. Why would they would fly a flag in such disrepair?"
"Just saying a big thank you to the NCSO. We had a burglary at my house and they responded right away and caught them just up the road. We even got our stuff back. Just saying thank you to Deputy Hammond and Deputy Peppers. Thanks for the fast response and the great work."
"Talk about waste -- millions for a study of shrimp on a tread mill and flatulence of cows? Give me a break! Let's not forget the White House tours cancelled because of Sequestration(supposedly), and yet Obama's $100,000 per year dog-handler is still employed. Americans are going to bed hungry each night with no roof over their heads. Has this president and his administration lost their minds? Yes, I think they have! It should be priorities, not pay-backs! If all the waste in this country in all areas, was controlled, we would not have a $16T-plus and rising debt. Americans -- stand up and be counted. Notify your House and Senate (representatives) how you feel. Let them know, if they don't do something about this fiasco, they will be among the unemployed in 2014. If we don't let our voices be heard, nothing is going to change. Stand up for what you believe! Do not let Obama become the king he thinks he should be. May God Bless America."
"The Turner Lake Road roundabout looks amazing. I'm also so glad it was done by someone in the private sector. So cool!"
---"Not replace Eastside High School -- are they out of their minds??? That would certainly be a death sentence for the eastern side of Newton County. No Baxter people would want to locate here knowing that their children would have to go to Alcovy or Newton High. With the lack of decent shopping, amenities and restaurants. it will be difficult enough to attract decent working people to this county. Just think of what it will do to property values on this side of the county if there is no high school. This is just a ploy to put good kids in the other cesspools in order to make them look better. Why not use Middle Ridge and Indian Creek for the theme schools and leave Eastside alone?"
"It is disturbing the number of people I come into contact with daily who mistrust the city of Covington. Many think the mayor and some of the council members are only in office for their self-enrichment. Many think the mayor only cares about downtown and used the poor neighborhoods only to get elected. Practically all of my Afro-American community do not trust the Covington Police Department ... Many believe the police pick and choose the drug dealers they arrest. The white neighborhoods receive much better city services than the Afro-American communities. The city seems to only hire Afro Americans for outside labor jobs. The city seems to have lost its reverence and morality. What the city needs is a God-led revival."
"I was calling about Gov. Nathan Deal appointing the school board committee for DeKalb County. I think he was intimidated by the NAACP. I think he ain't got an ounce of backbone in his whole body. Enough said."