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Newton Citizen Poll for Sept. 22, 2013

The Newton Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Newton Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Sunday. To submit a comment, call 770-483-7108, ext. 403, emailpoll@newtoncitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“I’m writing in regards to what a close friend/relative has told me about DDS/Georgia’s drivers license department. As everyone knows this is one of our nation’s first lines of defense towards the war on terror. 9/11 terrorist got through the Virginia DMV to obtain a license which then enabled them to attend flight school to learn how to operate a commercial airliner. The state only pays DDS employees $20,000 a year with no overtime pay. If they elect to get insurance for husband and wife that’s an extra $300-plus out of their own pocket a month. That leaves these people with estimated bring home before taxes $16,400 a year. They also have to work like 50 hours a week with no overtime pay. They haven’t even seen a raise in six-plus years. My friend told me with these conditions they can’t keep anyone … and it only attracts people from the bottom of the barrel. I have been in the workforce long enough (30-plus years) to know what kind of people these wages and conditions attract. Not saying there’s not good people that work there but to give these employees such a huge responsibility and expect them to uphold the security of each and everyone of us in their hands is asking a lot, especially if they can’t earn a living and trying to leave the first chance they get so they can support their family. High turnover rates mean a lot of new people plus a lot of training which they not knowingly could possibly make a mistake a veteran wouldn’t that would cost the lives of innocent Americans. After 9/11 you would think since a licenses are the so-called the keys to the country that the state of Georgia wouldn’t compromise citizens, our security and well-being to save a couple of bucks. The people that have been there back with the old pay (7-plus years) scale make decent money and my friend still makes the same as they did five years ago and is certified to examine just about anything with wheels on it. I hope they do something before something terrible happens. God forbid it ever does. Concerned Neighbor.”

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“School boards amaze me. Why would anyone take pride in serving decades or more on a school board with test scores like the ACT below state and national averages? How many school board family members are working in our local school system and when did they get those jobs (dates in line with board member service)? How many have retired that are relatives? This would be a great feature for the Citizen to explore especially since teachers and counselors are feeling overlooked for jobs when suddenly a board member’s family member pops up as the chosen one for the job. This needs to be openly discussed in light of length of service on boards, term limits and the bad student achievement as well. If you are not on a board of education long-term do set policy that improves these scores after years and years and all we have to show is your family members on the payroll then please rethink your service. You may be hurting students.”

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“Looks like the new NC/RC change to how comments on news articles can be submitted (via Facebook only) has made a huge impact — not many posts at all. Guess some folks like it when the lambs are silent or can’t be heard. Plus another notable change noted the Newton Citizen Poll was not posted on Sept. 15 but the Rockdale Poll was on the NC site. And the award for the most obvious incorrectly spelled word in a news article headline goes to … sorry won’t tell … the NC staff needs to find it … but here is a hint: the word when correctly spelled is ‘bringing’ … ‘not brining’ (that may have something to do with preserving something in salt water.)”

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“Aimee Jones wrote a headlong: ‘NHS student charged with brining knife to school’ What?”

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“Is there any truth that the Newton BOE has stopped invocations by the elected board members at the public meetings?”