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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online form at www.rockdalecitizen.com.
"On Monday eve at Rockdale High School we attended the 2011-2012 Superintendents Academic Awards Ceremony honoring Academic Scholars and Honor Teachers. It is now Wednesday and there is nothing in the Citizen about this affair. With all the crime reported in our county it is a shame that there isn't front page coverage of these spectacular young people. I think we were expecting even a picture of the stage."
Editor's Note: The story is in our Friday, April 4, edition.----"Today is Monday the 30th April and the Citizen Poll is still not out for this week."----"Water Authority -- What is the definition for water-read meters? The average homeowner has no idea what this is."----"I got my tax return "Returned." I was trying to get a jump on doing my taxes this year, however, the IRS sent my tax return back!! I guess it was because of my response to the line, which said: 'List All Dependents.' So, I replied, 12 million illegal immigrants, 3 million crack heads, 42 million unemployable people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons, and 535 fools in the U.S. House and Senate. Apparently, this was NOT acceptable. So I sent it back with a question -- 'Did I forget someone?'"----"Interesting to read this note on Nesbitt's election website: http://www.oznesbittsr.com/2012/02/07/commissioner-summons-sheriff-and-transportation-director/
So why is Weatherstone neighborhood such a priority regarding speeding, yet the woman on McDaniel Mill Road whose house had been smashed into and whose street has seen not only speeding but DEATHS, is chastised by Nesbitt at a BOC meeting for not having come to previous BOCs with her entreaties to fix the problem? What makes Weatherstone such a NEEDY area when people have DIED on McDaniel Mill?? Has Nesbitt -- who's so concerned about Weatherstone speeders -- also 'summoned the sheriff and transportation director' to the McDaniels Mill address where people have died and where a woman's property has been the site of speeding accidents, including a RCSO car?? If that's happened, it's news to me, because from what I've seen, the whole situation has been ignored -- while Weatherstone has seen speed bumps installed to address their problem. Is it because Weatherstone has an HOA and has a better average income than the area in McDaniel Mill? Is is because close friends of Nesbitt reside in Weatherstone or finance his campaign? I don't know, but it does raise questions."----"RCPS has made yet another decision that makes me shake my head in embarrassment and irritation. As of today I have heard that the custodial services within the schools will be outsourced to a company in Stone Mountain. That alone doesn't seem to be cause for alarm until you take a step back and look at what it means. 1. Custodians will no longer be employed by RCPS nor vetted by them which means that all background checks won't be done by an RCPS employee that knows that the safety of our children comes first. Custodians are frequently around our children. You can promise me that someone is going to make sure they thoroughly check into their backgrounds but it doesn't guarantee that it happens. As a parent I am strongly considering finding a safer place for my children. I highly recommend anyone who wants their child's safety to be considered paramount consider how easily a child molester could get in without anyone being aware. 2. Custodians always have keys and security codes. Do we want someone not employed by RCPS to be able to walk into our buildings with such ease while no one is there to supervise. Think of the millions of dollars of equipment that can be stolen, damaged or used for personal purposes? 3. What about these wonderful people who make our schools glisten and function. If teachers are the brains in the building, then surely our custodians are the backbone. Some of them are close to retirement but several years remain that they must work. The school district is not going to pay them for all those lost sick days. These people are losing thousands of dollars, but more importantly they are being kicked to the curb very ungraciously. Yes, I heard they can "apply' to keep their jobs, but if RCPS had any integrity this situation would not have arisen. Which this whole move brings me back to a question that hasn't satisfactorily been answered: Why is it that every school is laying off teachers, para-pros, office staff, and many other necessary positions while the county office has an excessive number of employees? If you think back to 10 years ago, consider how small a space it took to house the system administration. Now, look at today. Let's see there are offices on Main Street and some others in the bank building on West Avenue. Oh, wait. I forgot about the Office of Curriculum and Instruction behind that and personnel that work out of one end of RCA. There are so many school district employees that are not truly part of teaching our children. Yes, we have math coaches, science coaches, literacy coaches and then we have a coordinator for each subject as well. The superintendent has a cabinet that is very impressed with itself because we keep making AYP which is like saying, yeah, we made minimum wage. We aren't shooting for the stars; we are hoping to dig to the surface. It seems to me we are so busy chasing our tails in a "Race to the Top" or following to the letter of NCLB that we have forgotten that in all this garbage the only thing that matters is that our children get the best education possible which means allowing our teachers to teach. Testing constantly takes time meant for teaching. For example, an average 8th grader takes the Ready Step in October, Explore in November, there are also two mock writing tests (September, November), there are three benchmarks for every academic and let's not forget the county's bastard child -- the testlets which are administered at least four times a year. There is also the State Writing Test and the CRCTs. This does not include any unit tests or County Required Tasks. When is there time left for actually teaching?"
"This post is for the Board of Commissioners who allow the deplorable conditions at Rockdale Water Resources. The employees there are grossly underpaid while your pockets continue to fill. On-call employees receive no compensation for their time spent at home on stand-by while their families are made to do activities alone. You force employees to conduct county business throughout the night with 911 operators and our customer service issues without pay. We are left to work under outdated policies which only benefit you. You allow no advancement to the quality of life for such a dedicated and qualified workforce. Our families matter just as much as yours as well as all of the citizens of this county."
"This paper has not done a story on the termination of the RCHS football coach yet, but the whole situation reeks of incompetent leadership. If a man is going to be that involved with a program full of young, impressionable boys, there needs to be some investigation into his background BEFORE you hire him. Not just calling a few references. No one is going to give you bad references Mrs. Nour. I feel bad for all the coaches over there having to deal with this type of principal and her bad decision-making. It seems like she rarely listens to her AD or assistant principals and almost never brings them in on big decisions. She has a pretty good team of leaders over there but has not figured out how to tap in to their potential. So really, you could blame the Superintendent for picking a principal that was not really ready for a job like this and giving her no real training or direction or supervision."
Editor's Note: The Citizen published an article on Coach Mario Allen on Tuesday, May 1.
"Does anyone know what the stench was that I smelled on Hwy 138 and Centennial Parkway last night? I was riding out to the cancer event at the Horse Park and the smell was overwhelming. It smelled like human waste is the only polite way to describe it. I hope it isn't from the river right there."
"I have a request for everyone who comments on articles in this paper. Can you guys please stop arguing with Zo the commentor? Reading his comments give me a headache. It is a brutal combination of unsound logic, lies, and elementary grammar and spelling. I hate that he can vote, but I guarantee you this, Zo will fight for the last word because that is what drunks, teenagers, and uneducated egomaniacs do. So let him have it and we can move on with our lives."
"I was disturbed at what I saw at Johnson Park on Sunday. They were having a baseball tournament and cars were parked all over the grass, parked on the walkway where pedestrians walk for exercise, as well as trash that was out there. I really think the police should have done a better job policing that area and making sure people keep the community beautiful. These people came from counties other than Rockdale and it was really obnoxious to see the trash and how people parked their cars. There were plenty of parking spaces but instead you needed to park your car on the grass. I just thought it was awful."
"Any school board candidates want my vote? Then you will implement random drug testing for high school students and teachers. Any student or teacher testing positive for illegal drugs would be expelled or terminated. If you do this, it will greatly reduce discipline issues and scores will increase. Guaranteed. It would be pretty cheap, too. Just have one of those mobile drug testing units come up and randomly pick 10 students from each grade. Do it every month at first than every two months. Make sure no one at the school has influence over who gets picked. Make it totally objectively random. It will also improve the community with more kids saying no to drugs. Less crime and gang stuff."