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Newton Poll for June 29, 2014

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, email: poll@newtoncitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“No more money to Ezell Brown and his department. He can whine all day. It is time to lower taxes. If the Covington Police would get off their butts and work with officers in the field, crime would not be so … high in Newton. I have no sympathy for Brown; he gets the largest chunk of county budget. Figure out a way to economize like we all do.”

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“In one newspaper article the Rockdale County Fire Service announcing they are 12 to 15 firefighters short of full staffing. As a result they were going to have a hiring a program where they hoped to attract 400 to 500 applicants and through a competitive testing sequence, they will pare down that number to the best candidates. The Rockdale Fire Service chief said their losses were due to firefighters retiring, or others getting out of the business, or some leaving to go to better paid departments. The chief said hopefully, out of the anticipated 400 to 500 applicants, they can hire the 12 to 15 firefighters they need. In another unrelated story, the Newton County fire chief said he is 30 firefighters short of full staffing. The chief said they have been understaffed for some time. The chief alluded that they are losing trained firefighters at a rapid rate. There are not enough people applying to the Newton County Fire Service to replace those leaving and the ones who do apply have no experience and are untrained.”

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“Mom and Dad, we love you very much, but we are so tired of hearing your constant demands for special tax treatment. We know that living on a fixed income is a challenging, but your demands for special services and special tax cuts for seniors mean that ‘everyone else’ has to pay more to fund your entitlements. My spouse and I are working as hard as we can to provide for our kids (your grandkids) but we cannot raise our family and pay for all of your services, too. Yes, I know that city, county, state and federal governments spend too much, but if there were great savings to be realized in government service delivery your generation’s leadership have would have already identified and realized those cost efficiencies. If they did not find those savings, well, neither have we. Everyone knows we have to pay for schools. Just because your kids are grown does not negate the need to educate your grandchildren. Years ago, your parents and grandparents helped pay for your children’s education. Now you need to help pay for your children’s and grandchildren’s education. How in the world do you think you can just walk away and expect strangers to pay the cost? I know the ‘Tea Party’ and ‘AARP’ lobby think every citizen is overtaxed. Lowering taxes is a great idea, now all you have to do is have the courage to identify the cuts your group wants to make. Baby Boomers receive Social Security and Medicare, they enjoy senior citizen centers and programs, senior citizens subsided housing, meals on wheels, senior citizen and homestead exemptions.”

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“Put the 2050 plan on the next available public ballot. Let we the people have our say!”

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“I just watched the video of two ‘Johns’ being arrested for pandering in Conyers. Maybe I am in the minority about this but I feel that law enforcement resources could be better served by going after real criminals. I do not solicit nor use the services of prostitutes, but I would rather a man buy sex from a willing participate than rape someone. There are times when I do feel that police should act against this solicitation, when it involves persons underage or those forced to do this against their will. The officers are doing the soliciting and in my mind they should be charged with a crime. As for the assertion that crime is being reduced because of this ‘come on man’!”

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“Who do I contact about changing traffic signals on county roads? I would like to start with the one at Brown Bridge and Ram Drive, yeah the one that stops eastbound traffic when there are no vehicles waiting to enter the highway.”

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“The Covington City Council is lowering their property tax rate? County commission, are you paying attention? You promised we would be back to the 2013 rate by next year but now you talk like you might double cross us on that promise. Don’t even think about that sort of thing.”

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“It is time we take the county back from the elitists. go to tweeter and take it back @notothe2050plan # No2050pla

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“So whine on people about this poll and pitch your fit that it is negative but free speech helps make communities better, not worse. I learn more about the bad acts, alleged and real, of politicians here than from their own lips. So the old wife wants to know what the board of miseducation did in Savannah, pray tell, as mama used to say? Also, why do we need 2050 anything. Most of us are either not retiring in this county or will be dead by 2050 when Newton is just your east DeKalb Annex. Say it ain’t so? Have you read about the … guns and drugs and crime here? People and bizness looking at Newton do not decide based on this poll; they can pull crime reports, and let me tell you it is sho nuff bad up in here!”

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“Georgia law, in part, defines a ‘tax increase’ as an increase in the tax millage rate. It does not matter if the actual dollars you pay in taxes remain the same from one year to another, it is a tax increase if the property being taxed decreases in value and the millage rate increases to compensate, that is still a ‘tax increase.’ Some Newton County citizens have adopted the phrase ‘no tax increases” as a political chant and they have bombarded Newton County Commissioners with that phrase… “no tax increase.’ Yet, decreased property values do not decrease our county’s population. Decreased property values do not decrease the traffic on our roads. Decreased property values do not decrease the amount of solid waste that must be processed. Decreased property values do not affect the number of Superior Court cases filed, the number of Magistrate Court cases filed, the number of Probate Court filings, the number of Juvenile Court cases filed, the number of calls for police and fire services, the number of 911 calls being made, the number of emergency medical calls, the number of library visitors, the number of health and mental health service users, the number of planning and zoning applications, the number of recreation department users, the number of senior citizen center users, the number of meals on wheels users, the number of community center users … the list can go on and on. For years the county budget had been cut year after year until it reached the point that the county commissioners cut to muscle and bone and they started laying off county employees from every department to balance the budget. After these cuts, the remaining skeleton staff shouldered the majority of the recession budget cuts by having year after year after year of pay and benefits cuts. If you are one of the citizens demanding county commissioners make additional tax cuts, please stand up and tell the commissioners which programs you demand they cut. Tell them how many more county employees you want them to lay off to achieve this cut. Tell them these employees and programs are of such little use they should be cut. Tell the county commissioners exactly what county programs you want them to terminate to save you $30 off your tax bill.”

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“So here we sit in a numbing EST leadership meeting with a babbling tweeting superintendent who added another POS book to our unending pile of BS to listen to her rattle on, and all most of us want to know is when’s lunch and do you ever tire of hearing yourself talk? I mean didn’t you wear it out with the school board in Savannah on our tax dime to come back and commission a salary study as you whine about all the good employees leaving for higher pay? She is not conservative with money, taxpayers. She says she is weekly, which means she doth protest too much. She’s about to coerce the board members into more pay raises, says she wants to pay to have a salary study done and refuse to lower your millage at the July 22 board meeting. These board members have ‘em one more snake in the grass. Newton Conservative Alliance turn thy eyes upon your BOE.”