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.
"I chose many years ago to remain in Rockdale County because the schools here were so good. Teachers used to forego better pay in other counties so they could teach in Rockdale. But, as the song says, 'That was yesterday, and yesterday's gone."' Now we are paying a lot of money to keep grandchildren out of the public schools here. The years of decline, led by Samuel King and the current school board, have dealt a terrible blow to Rockdale residents, and we are now hoping desperately hoping that new board members and a new superintendent will begin the hard work of taking the schools back to the level of performance for which they were once known. I would love to see the schools raise their standards to past levels and institute strict disciplinary procedures. It's too late for my family, but there is a future with which we must be concerned. The schools determine the overall wellbeing of our community."
"Just say no to T-SPLOST. The proposal is floated by those wanting billions more to grant favors, and if you really believe that it will relieve traffic, then please call about some waterfront property I have for sale. A close look at the actual projects reveals the foolishness of some of the planned expenditures, like street cars for Atlanta and a portion of a new rail system that won't even be completed under the current proposal. That last means, of course, a return for more money when this latest one expires."
"Just saw the article about Superintendent Autry's new contract. This looks like a good contract. I have a question about the section that states 'fostering collaboration and effective communication and fostering a safe and orderly learning environment.' I really like that part and wonder how the school board plans on measuring Autry's effectiveness regarding those goals. I would start by asking Autry how he plans on measuring the effectiveness of his principals on the same thing. So for example, if it was the end of August, how do you know that the schools performed well or not on inter staff collaboration, safe and orderly learning environment, and effective communication and personal development of teachers? How will he know if he is being successful? How will the principals know? It appears to me that the school system concentrates solely on test scores and these things fall to the wayside. Like I said, I really like those goals and would love to see how responsible the board is on measuring those factors. I personally believe that those are the key things that should be concentrated on."
"I was watching the reports on the Colorado shooting. I know the media is of the opinion that gun laws need to change. NBC did a report on how easy it was to buy an assault rifle and they went into detail about how he used the Internet to see how to build bombs. Do the news stations not realize that they are informing people on how to repeat this crime? They want to blame gun laws but they repeatedly give this criminal what he wanted, attention. I will guarantee that there is another sicko in our country right now learning about this incident on the news and deciding to try it. The media in it's fervor to make money on this coverage is feeding crime as much if not more than the gun laws."
"Well, it doesn't look like the T-SPLOST opponents will be able to use the Georgia 400 tolls as fuel against the referendum anymore. They're going to go away soon."
"It will be a red letter day and a cause for celebration when this arrogant, self-serving man retires. There is no room for justice or fairness in his courtroom because of his self proclaimed 'Godlike' ego. I refuse to refer to this man as a judge. Judges are fair, impartial and make decisions based on facts. Nation makes decisions based on his own personal opinion, without listening to a defense or the facts. ...This is the man who stands in judgement of citizens when they are forced into his courtroom. Just know that your life hangs in the balance at the hands of a man who makes his decision based on what you look like or how he feels that day ... not based on facts! Good riddance, Sidney. Rockdale Countians will hopefully elect a better judge during the next election!"
"For those of you that are trashing the T-SPLOST: We have been trying for over 20 years to get another bridge over I-20 to access the crowded Walmart/Home Depot and Carmike Cinema area. We need it! The wise folks at the FedDOT and GDOT have never seen fit to get us that project. Yet is on the list of the four that we would get for Rockdale. Does that not suggest to you that it is better to determine our own destiny locally instead of paying for and then praying to a state and/or federal group for our local transportation projects needs? And as for those folks griping about the Hayden Quarry road project on the list to better open up Stonecrest and southeast DeKalb county; Look around you and recognize the new makeup of our county. The fact that they got what they wanted on the list attests to local people determining their own destiny on road projects. Do you want a say in where your tax dollars go for transportation, or do you want to stick your head in the sand and tea party in your no new taxes slogan? Then kick that can down the road and vote 'No.' Or get a voice in your transportation choices and vote 'Yes.'"
"Top 10 buildings in Rockdale County that need to be demolished before anything else is built:10. The old movie theater/Crusade Dominion church
The part of the old Target not used by L.A. Fitness
The Daruma (closed for remodeling since 1992(?))
The Racetrac gas station exiting I-20 onto 138
The old dollar theater next to Salem Gate Shopping Center
Salem Gate Shopping Center
All empty car dealerships on Iris Drive
The old Pike's Nursery on Salem Road
The BP station on the corner of Flat Shoals and Salem (closed since Hurricane Katrina)
The old Shoney's/Chinese restaurant/Steakhouse/rat trap on 138
Just as a bonus, let's throw in the hotel next to IHOP that was never finished. So, we need a new YMCA why?"
"The Georgia Legislature members afraid of not being elected if voting to raise taxes for funding transportation, played a shrewd trick on taxpayers. The trick was let taxpayers vote themselves a never-ending tax. Fifty-two percent of T-SPLOST projects will be transit projects. As no transit systems operate without being funded by tax dollars, we taxpayers will be funding these transits projects forever! T-SPLOST? ... Vote No!"
"Three days until school starts and my wife finds out she has 38 students in one of her classes. All other ones full too. Is there a reason classes aren't already pretty much settled and balanced out yet? Some kids check in over the summer but that has to be the exception. Don't they know who is teaching what and which kids will be in class? This should be mostly done before school is let out. Then they give her some 'Flex class' and she doesn't even know what she is supposed to be teaching in there. Is anyone planning at the county office in the summer? If not, what they doing over there every day? I hope Autry starts getting this system to think ahead better."
"As a vice president of my company, I have to shake my head when I hear teacher friends talk about how the school system is run. I wonder if anyone at the county office thinks to have assessment meetings regarding the status of the schools getting ready for the school year. Did the superintendent ask the principals if they were ready for the upcoming year? How do they know if they are ready or not? Does he just wait around and find out that students' schedules are not finalized, some teachers still do not know what they are teaching or what classrooms they will be teaching in? Did no one know that there were technical difficulties with networks that would hurt training when teachers meet in different schools and need their laptops but can't use them because the network is unavailable. Did no one know that the trailers were going to be used for classrooms and needed computers? This is a failure of administrators and county office management. You guys knew school was starting didn't you? It wasn't a surprise that teachers would need to know what they were teaching is it? I always hear educators say, 'We just want to do what's best for the kids.' Well the teachers I know were wondering what you guys were doing all summer because it should run a lot smoother over there with that much predictability. You guys would never make it at my company. We have low predictability about what the customers are going to do and we still have to serve them correctly or lose our jobs. I hate giving my taxes to a bunch of yahoos. Stop looking at scores as your only goal. Get out of your office and go check on something to see if you can help them do their job better. Bozos."----
"This week, we go to the polls to vote on the T-SPLOST and other things. Metro Atlanta is drowning, and the T-SPLOST may not be a well-cared for, nicely painted, bright new life preserver, it's more like an old piece of Styrofoam that floats well, but if you were drowning, would it really matter what was thrown to you to stay afloat? It's not perfect, but do we really want to wait another 2 years before voting on a project, that will just have more road projects (as the Republicans have promised) that will only get clogged up again necessitating another T-SPLOST in another six or eight or 10 years after that Rockdale is ultimately getting much more in return than we are contributing. The I-20 east project which will decrease congestion between Rockdale and Atlanta costs almost twice as much as Rockdale is contributing. The strength of the T-SPLOST projects are in their regional natures, something that the Atlanta area has traditionally ignored. The region can't afford to not pass this measure, transportation funding has always been kicked down the road to the future, well the future is now, vote 'yes' for the T-SPLOST!"
"One of the trends I have seen with incompetent leaders lately is overuse of the term, 'moving forward.' This is a key phrase used by incumbents who have not done a good job or even new candidates who are asked about past criminal records. They want to appear noble and positive as opposed to 'mean and ugly' people who want to bring up poor performance in the past. But everyone knows that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. ... "
"Let' think about the T-SPLOST like this: Would you like to voluntarily give our government an extra $10 to $30 per month? Do you trust them to do exactly like they say they will? Do you believe that they have been good managers with the taxes you have already been paying and should have more? Do you think the only option they have had to deal with the traffic is to ask us for more money? I answered no to all of those questions. These politicians have been raking in tax money for many years. Why are they just now starting to try for a major fix? Why didn't they start this 15 years ago? Why haven't they been budgeting for this yearly instead of asking for this huge lump? I still want them to fix this problem, but I want them to cut funding to wasteful expenditures and the welfare abuse I am always reading about in the news.