Chris

Chris 7 months, 2 weeks ago on Citizens to change commenting procedure

You make an excellent point about the protective value of anonymity, especially in small communities. Regrettably, the overwhelming reality was that the forum was dominated by rude and mean-spirited postings with no constructive value. What could have been a great community asset became a very negative influence, and a poor reflection on us all. It gave a disproportionate voice to the most divisive views. Race-baiting, bomb-throwing, and personal attacks were the norm. It was not civil discourse; it was downright uncivilized. Despite the loss of protection for those with a true reason for anonymity, the paper is doing the right thing. It is overdue. Facebook would seem to limit access, so hopefully that will be a temporary requirement until they come up with a better solution. It is sad commentary that seven of seven editors all had the same sorry experience. We can do better.

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Chris 7 months, 3 weeks ago on Judges: Expansion needed soon

One might expand the hours of use of the existing facilities, which are not very old themselves. Evenings and Saturdays should not be out of the question. The rest of law enforcement operates 24-7, 365 days per year. It seems extravagant to build new office space to store files. If files are stacked to the ceiling they can be scanned into computer files. If courtrooms are too small for public access, we can install webcams. Facility expansion may be necessary at some point in the future, but not until we have optimized the use of the resources we already have available.

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Chris 9 months ago on Twelve Oaks expanding

The City is aiming to funnel $15K of State funds to the owner of a private luxury inn? Seriously? Seriously?

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Chris 10 months ago on Attorney: No conflict with Nelson Heights

One person appoints a majority of the board of directors? What a sham. If this is the board of the nonprofit, an arrangement of this nature would ordinarily disqualify a non-profit from eligibility for funding from the United Way, private foundations, and ordinary donors who pay the least bit of attention to the organizations they contribute to. If it is a county-managed facility it is corrupt for the board to be so transparently controlled by a single commissioner. Newton County has a web of inappropriate entanglements with non-profits that undermine the independence of the nonprofits and cede proper governmental functions to private organizations that are not accountable to the voters. This is only one of many similar cases that have been covered by the newspaper. This mess should be systematically exposed, untangled and dismantled.

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Chris 10 months, 2 weeks ago on 13-year-old Covington runaway found safe

I'm not clear on the NCSO's use of the word "safe" in this case. The 13 year-old runaway was found, and was found alive, but for a month she has been out of school and living with a 21 year-old man she met through a dating service. I can buy that a child might be judged safe in the hands of grandparents or maybe even a non-custodial parent in a domestic dispute, but this case sounds more perilous than safe. It sounds predatory and exploitive. It sounds risky and dangerous. It does not sound safe.

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Chris 10 months, 3 weeks ago on Main Street director resigns

Steve Horton may not be the only one, but he is among the highest performing and most reliable, and has the greatest integrity. He is respectful to everyone, especially when differences of opinion inevitably arise. Covington is damn lucky to have him. If the state legislature or national congress had more members of his caliber we would all be better off. I couldn't care less if he sleeps in Covington or Newton County, but would be surprised if he doesn't. He has devoted the best years of his life to the benefit of Covington residents. He is the antithesis of the "good ol' boys" referenced above. He deserves the same respect he shows everyone else, and he deserves to know how much his service is appreciated without having to wait for his funeral for it to be spoken.

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Chris 11 months ago on Landscape contract awarded to G & G

The previous county commission's handling of this contract was deplorable. It should have been the subject of an official investigation. Thank goodness it is behind us. Good Luck to G & G.

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Chris 1 year, 1 month ago on BOC does not revote on lawn contract

Would the Commissioners please try Googling "county purchasing policy"? Plenty of suitable templates are available. Raise the standard for competence and integrity on the Commission. Stop embarrasing us. This has gone on long enough.

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Chris 1 year, 5 months ago on Porterdale enhances historical ambience with boxcar

Good point; I overlooked that. Nevertheless I feel we are better off accepting it and improving the community than leaving it on the table to go someplace else. That is $250K coming into Newton County,and by most measures we need all the help we can get. If passing it up would directly reduce the federal deficit or something similar I might agree with your overall point, but I don't believe that would happen. The money would just go to another applicant.

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Chris 1 year, 5 months ago on Porterdale enhances historical ambience with boxcar

Road and bridge repair is a public expense funded by tax money. Grants from private foundations are not tax money. They are gifts from generous private benefactors. We are lucky to recieve them, as foundations receive many more worthy requests than they can possibly fund. The development of local parks,recreation and tourism promotes business activity and increases local tax revenue for things like...roads and bridges. I would much prefer to spend weekends hiking, biking, and kayaking - and spending money at local restaurants, bike shops and outfitters in Newton County than having to travel to neighboring counties and states. We can deride the economic benefits of recreation at our own expense, and those who embrace it elsewhere will be smiling all the way to the bank. At least we'll still have our poor roads, vacant homes and unkempt lots. These restrooms will also support the farmer's market and other public events that bring money into Porterdale and help raise the standard of living for residents and tourists alike. For those who spend any more time in Porterdale than "driving through it the other day," this will be a welcome improvement.

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