The Citizen Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The 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. 402, email: email@example.com or complete the online form. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"When I see many of the political candidates placing their signs along our interstate, in the rights of way of our roads, on vacant property without the owner's permission etc., I have to wonder how many other laws these candidates have broken. Rockdale Citizen, please quickly run a piece divulging the criminal backgrounds of all candidates running for an office in Rockdale County. Thank you."
"Not supporting the T-SPLOST because not all of the money stays in Rockdale County is very short-sighted. How many of us never leave the county? Support it or not, depending on your views, but that shouldn't be one of them."
"Clark, I have said before, I don't know anything about SPLOST with regard to details and I don't care. This government cannot be trusted with money. It may be the best plan in the world for roads and rail but they need to use existing tax dollars to pay for it, in my opinion. If they say there is not enough money in the budget, they need to cut something else or save up for it over time like they should have been doing. If you have kids you know how it works. There is a time that you need to cut them off or they will never learn to budget right. And keep asking till you run out of money. Well, I am out of money for them! They have to leave us alone and let us make some money for ourselves before they keep heaping on taxes after taxes."
"According to the other Conyers paper, Conyers Police have been dealing with an unusual rash of auto thefts this year. Could the Citizen please do a story on this and give more details about the salvage yard in Lithonia that blocked police out with junk cars? Why isn't this junkyard shut down?"
"Ladies it looks desperate and lonely when you use a bikini pic for your Facebook profile pic. Just like the guys taking a picture of themselves with one arm out and no shirt. Desperate."
"I do not mind having a full time lawyer at the county office and do not mind paying almost $200K as long as that lawyer is confronting issues and taking parents to court for causing problems in the school system. The next parent that threatens to sue the school system because they are trying to get a bad kid out of consequences needs to be dealt with. If we get on the news winning court cases against stupid parents that blame the system for problems they have caused, then the right message will be sent and the bad families will stay away. Our lawyers are not helping us by settling out of court and letting complaining parents nickle and dime us to death. It hurts the whole system every time any one of these parents gets their bad kid out of trouble or back on a sports team when the coach kicks them off. It is good news for bad parents. They can just threaten to sue and the school board will back down from good, solid policies. I hate when bad people get good rules changed to avoid punishment."
"So, does having people hold up signs along the interstate really make that person the most qualified candidate, or is this just an omen that qualifications have become irrelevant?"
"I think this town needs a healing in it's heart. Here are verses that help me when I pray using it. They come from the book of James, Chapter 4. Keep praying for Conyers. "v8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. v10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.""----
"Hard-working people for Democrats is like roaches for Raid."
"My husband is against T-SPLOST. I am for it. I think it would help those working in Atlanta save gas, including him. However, my husband says if you want to save gas then move to Atlanta. He added, 'If you want the amenities of the city then move to the city.' He says there are too many city folks running politics in Conyers. He also says it won't help people get to work any faster (It will only help people get to Walmart faster.) He says what will happen is they will tax us and never remove he tax because they will say they need more time to implement the project. He says basically, 'All the cronies will get paid and no concrete will get laid.'"
"To the people whom are complaining about the undesirables moving to Conyers: You have to understand that money is what separates people. When a community, such as Rockdale is surrounded by other undesirable neighboring counties, it is easy for people in those undesirable counties (DeKalb, Fulton) and neighboring areas to move to your area, hence Rockdale. Therefore, Rockdale (Conyers) is not an upperclass area. If it was they wouldn't be able to afford to move here. Yes, we have apartments. Many areas do. However, these undesirables are also renting homes that the original Conyers natives left behind whether it be foreclosure or white flight. People need to stop complaining about how Conyers is changing. This is what happens when communities are abandoned by the well-to-do people that once owned and ran the majority of the town. Don't get mad at the undesirables. Get mad at the Conyers natives who allowed them to move in by fleeing and wealthy people who are still making political deals behind closed doors by allowing more apartments, government housing, and YMCAs into Conyers. If you are unhappy, then follow the ones who left. Believe me the ones who ran will always be running because what I've observed is the undesirables will always follow. It just takes time. If you want to stay away from undesirables, move to Berkley Lake, Ga. No undesirables there, but a home costs between $300,000 to a $1 million. If you are not able to afford this type of lifestyle then you are stuck like the rest of us. You will have to deal with it."
"Dear Rockdale Citizen, what would you do if your bartender was watering down your beer? What if the grocery store put a lot more fat and ground bone in the ground beef to make it go further? Well you have been doing the equivalent to this paper by putting Covington stories in the Rockdale Citizen and vice-versa. The main news stories this weekend look the same on both websites. In the old days, the Citizen was really covering Conyers and almost any aspect of daily life that came up. They were innovative and covered all types of fun things in the community. Please get back to the roots that are represented by the name on this paper or change the name."
"Here's a thought to the T-SPLOST; normal tax funds can be spread wherever the Legislature or DOT wants them. The Atlanta T-SPLOST funds can only be spent within the 10-county region, for projects on the list, rather than say building roads down in Valdosta as the normal funds could be. Also don't be swayed by the people claiming '16 percent increases in taxation,' that sounds like a lot, but to each household or person, it's far from it. On a $100 grocery bill, that's paying $108 instead of $107, or 80 cents instead of 70 cents on a $10 purchase. You could use the same logic and claim that if you had a penny, and then traded that out for a dime, you'd have a 1,000 percent increase in your funds, but isn't a dime still just 10 cents?"
"Is the Citizen going to run a story about the Post 5 Board of Education candidates? There are a few of them and I would like to know where they stand."
Editor's note: That story was published on Wednesday, July 18.----
"'The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.' ~ Charles Bukowski ... Our politics is like this. There are many good men and women who would be great leaders and unite our country. But none will."
"Dear candidates, we are tired of shallow observations and opinions about general ideas. Please deliver your punches if you have any regarding the issues facing this community. Truthfully, we would love it if you would radically cut spending, cut taxes and let us make money and spend money how we want to. Use our tax dollars to improve whatever infrastructure that will attract 'good' residents. And try to use code enforcement to run off the bottom feeders."----
"After reading your article about the three challengers running for the Snapping Shoals EMC Board it became quite obvious that these one-issue candidates have no idea of the complexities of today's electric utility industry. Snapping Shoals has some of the lowest rates in the state, if you don't believe me go to the Georgia Public Service Commission website and check for yourself. The telephone call I received was mostly incorrect information and not once have they mentioned a desire to continue to provide reliable electric service at an affordable rate. My vote on July 26th will be for Anthony Norton, Walter Johnson and Gene Morris. Thanks for the job you have done."
"This is for Mr. Autry, the new school superintendent. Please come out strong this year. The county office types and school administrators have always given me the impression that they are 'coasting by' and not really contributing to the daily operation of this school system. You guys normally don't get into character until the end of the year when scores come out. Please come out swinging this year. You should know what it takes to run a good system and we want to see you and all the other leaders checking on us. You should be in the schools not in your offices. Thanks."
"Dear Conyers residents, please do not donate school supplies to needy children this year unless you know their situation personally. Conyers is becoming known as poor-friendly and that is a bad thing. It's one thing if there are residents here who are on hard times but we don't need to sound a cattle call and advertise a whole school bus full of school supplies for any freeloader to just come get. I am not giving another dime to Hutcheson and his crew until they show some process to prevent people from getting free stuff when they can afford it themselves. My mother took an extra job and sold vegetables from our garden when we couldn't afford school clothes and poor people will always stay poor unless circumstances drive them to innovate and work hard. We have to stop handing stuff out around here in such a big way. Parents who don't plan well or spend their money on frivolous or illegal stuff love to get free school supplies and Christmas presents for their kids from us. That leaves more liquor money for them. It's time they handle their own affairs unless there is a verifiable hardship."
"I would like to thank Officer Morris and others of the Rockdale Fire Department for coming to help me change a battery! My smoke detector was 'chirping' 16 feet high in my bedroom and I had no resources to help me remove and change the battery. This caused me to be displaced from my bedroom for more than five days because of the annoying reminder. In my mind, firefighters and smoke detectors are linked to one another, so I called Friday, June 22, to see if they could help me. I received a call back and was told that I could not be helped because of the fear that a very long ladder could possibly tear up my walls. Monday, June 25, I called my security company to see if they would help, but I was told that since I was not on their 'fire protection program' they would not be able to help me without a fee. Therefore, I returned a call to the fire department on June 26, and pleaded with them to help. Officer Morris returned my call, and on June 27, he came to my home. He told me that changing smoke detector batteries in high places was not a part of the regular ways in which they assist residents in Rockdale County, but at times they would make allowances for 'special occasions.' He wanted to make sure that a tall ladder would not ruin my walls, and we discussed other options so that this would not happen again. Later the same afternoon, what seemed like the whole department came to my home with the ladder truck, another official vehicle and four officers to change the battery. I know these gentlemen could have been doing something else more worthwhile, but they took time out of their busy schedules on a hot day to help me. I appreciate you all."
"Has anyone noticed the various sign holders in Conyers? No, I'm not talking about the people campaigning,, which I am sick of seeing also. I am talking about the people who are hired to wave, 'Buy Gold Here' and other businesses. I just about lost it this weekend when I saw someone holding up a sign saying, 'Package Store,' with an arrow pointing the direction as to where the store was located. This is tacky and I wish it would stop all together!"
"Why has the Citizen Poll not published on time? This has happened before! Get it together Rockdale Citizen!"
Editor's note: The Citizen Poll is always published on Sunday in print. It is generally posted on Friday online.
"Dear Rockdale Citizen Editor. Please do a story on the report that was recently released by the Center for Public Integrity that placed Georgia as the most corrupt state in the country. As a voter I would like to know what the local candidates for the state congress plan to do about it. The article I read stated that Georgia has lax rules regarding gifts from lobbyists and poorly enforces the ones we have. This would be a great help at keeping officials accountable. Here is a link to one of the articles about it: http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2012/03/22/americas-most-corrupt-states/----
"I looked under the regular Citizen Poll tab and didn't see the latest poll for this week July 15. It is Wednesday the 18th and I thought I saw it this past weekend. Was I reading an old one or did you move the location? The latest one I can find is July 8."
Editor's note: We checked and the polls have been posted.
"What is this world coming to? I know this is a question a lot of people have been asking as of late, but today it was really driven home that things are just not like they use to be. My son is planning his Eagle Scout project (really has it been that long since we were in Tiger Scouts?), but I digress, he is fingerprinting children for his project. Sound simple? I think not, what used to be a free service to help promote the safety of our children has at some point in time turned into a multi-million dollar industry. I have spent days and days on the phone calling everyone from our local police department (which it is not their fault they don't have the budget for such events, but that another letter for another time, to the GBI, McGruff the dog (you remember him), to the foundations for missing children, and finally the FBI. No one and I mean no one wants to donate these items, and no one wants to sell them at a small price. This is an Eagle Project people, he has to obtain donations for everything he has to buy and cannot get donated. Have you tried to get donations right now? If companies have the money to donate they are terrified to turn loose of it and if he cannot get donations, well then he can't do his project and if he can't do his project, then no Eagle, something he has worked for for the last 17 years ... I am not asking for a handout or to get something for free (although it would be nice) but what I am asking for is to allow my son, to do his community project to help the safety of our children. There are tons of kids that do not have this done, and there should be no excuses for this. It should be a free service for the children of our community God forbid something happen there is nothing to work with. The FBI has agreed to send me the finger print cards, now to find that messy ink and lots of baby wipes to clean those blackened little hands ... Thank you FBI for your help!! And McGruff, well let's just say you are not the dog I grew up with ... "
"While I appreciate our law officers pulling the speeders over everywhere, what about the all the motorists that just continuously proceed through the light when it is red -- isn't that still against the law?"
"This community is hurting and it needs to be attractive to financially secure families that raise good children. Every good family I know flinches about sending their kids to RCPS schools. This is the truth and it needs to be fixed. As the chair, Mr. Barksdale, you need to do something strong here. Autry needs to toe the line and not just on scores. You guys need to get your finger on the pulses of these schools. Wake up and get passionate about this. The town will die if you don't."
"We have a lot of bad drivers in Conyers and I believe our policeman do a wonderful job. But on Monday, July 7 I witnessed something which amazed me. A city of Conyers K9 unit ... headed East on Iris Drive (or whatever section from McDonough Street East to Highway 138 is called) turned right through the gas station to avoid stopping at the red light. He continued south of Highway 138 flowing with the traffic. His speed plus the fact he had no siren or red light on seem to indicate he was not on a call? He turned left beside Sonny's barbecue, maybe he was hungry. I believe had I made this maneuver I would have been given a ticket! What do you think Chief?"