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Rockdale Citizen Poll for May 26, 2013

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 poll@rockdalecitizen.com or complete the online form.


"With Karen Handel now jumping into the U.S. Senate race, at least now the Democrats have someone they can vote for. Up to this point, Gingrey was the most liberal candidate, but with Handel, she takes the liberal lead for that honor."


"The only reason that company wants to build the 'mixed use' property on Iris is for the apartments. Tell them you will make the deal without any more residential rentals and see how fast they run. The thing at Parker and Flat Shoals is making money. Just on the apartments. They are fine with that. All they want is apartments, they are putting all this YMCA crap on the table so they can build their apartments. I bet they split it up after they build it so they can own only the apartments and get rid of the business parks. Conyers needs to say no to anything that is not normal. Stop getting creative. These people are used to going around to little towns like us who aren't savvy."


"Found out my son was using his phone to cheat on tests. He took pictures of his notes and just looked at them on his phone since his teacher lets them have their phones out during tests. She says they like to listen to music while they take tests. How dumb can you be? They are texting each other answers and looking at notes. This school system is hurting."


"The median on Hwy. 138 between Target and Honey Creek Road looks like trash. High grass and dead trees does not attract good residents. If you dimwits want more property taxes, you will need to keep this county attractive so that folks with money and families will feel OK about moving here with kids. Every decision you make affects property value. And property value affects tax revenue. I do not understand what you think your job is but spending 80K per year on some goofball from Lithonia to do something no other board of commissioners ever needed is not good management when there are easy, fixable problems out there that would help the county."


"Dear RCPS school board. Please buy out the contract of our school system lawyer and replace him. Get a strong, dedicated, moral, lawyer that wants to confront and beat cases and show the parents in this county that the last thing they ever want to do is go to court with RCPS. This will free up principals and county office brass to stop worrying about getting sued for doing the right thing. Also, change the school system lawyer job so that we don't have to sign a long contract with them if they are not doing their job. Every administrator I know asks themselves if they will get sued while they are dealing with each discipline issue. It is unreasonable to ask these professionals to do the right thing when our county lawyer and superintendent don't have the sand to back them up."


"This is in response to the RV guy at (a local coffee shop). It seems that you are looking for anything to be able to make a racial accusation. I am white and if a white guy were doing the same thing you are doing, I would feel exactly the same way. I don't care what color you are and most people don't. In what decade are you stuck? It is creepy to me that you are there with your lap top apparently video-taping people. I will not let my teenage daughter go in there to possibly be a victim of your camera ... You should be ashamed of yourself and try hard to find something to do with your life that can add something positive to the human experience. You are not making racial relationships any better and certainly don't represent the African American people I know."----

"Next time RCSO brings the prisoners out, can they pick up trash on McDaniels Mill? The Lake St. James riffraff are dumping their trash bags on the side of the road and it looks awful."


"Would like for everyone to know Conyers Lowes is great! We bought a ... stove and after six months the paint bubbled. (The manufacturer) would not honor their one-year warranty for a product defect. Dwayn, Jesse, Johnny and Claude (special installer) with Lowes stepped up and had a new part to replace the defected part. This process took almost two months (which was not due to Lowes). (The manufacturer) first sent the wrong part then sent a defective part. Thank you, again, to the nice four guys at Lowes."


"Do you ever notice that the same people that blow their horn all the time, don't use their blinkers?"


"OK, this rampant, unchecked growth in this county must stop! I personally counted 13 empty stores, plus the empty Publix in the old Publix shopping center on Ga. 20, and a developer is proposing to build even more stores? If we can't even fill the ones we have, why are we considering allowing the construction of an even larger number of buildings? This extends to residential development as well. People just aren't moving to Rockdale right now. Let's fill the houses for sale first, before building hundreds of new apartments that will sit empty for years."


"Everyone needs to read the book 'Intellectuals and Race,' written by Thomas Sowell, who is an educated, successful black man. He recently gave some other reading recommendations, so those of you who would like to know the truth about our world, instead of what the media and Internet tell you, might want to read some of these, especially the ones dealing with race and welfare:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/348964/undoing-brainwashing-summer-reading-thomas-sowell


"If the City Council can be so blinded by greed as to begin talking about approving the Four A project with agreement in mind, then it is just as simple for the citizens of Conyers to begin sharpening up the pencils to file the lawsuits against the inept Gang of 6. Unless they decide to rewrite the city charter, the first clause dictates that the Gang of 6 are to do everything in their power to protect the health and safety of the citizens they serve. Consider that we already lack the water and sewer capacity to support the development and you have created a health hazard for the rest of us and that includes all county residents. Here is what the Four A group would have to agree to for this to work at all: Pay and build one new elementary, middle, and high schools along with paying for the construction and at least five years of operation of a new 6 million gallon capacity sewer plant, then drill into the aquifer for your own water supply, and finally pay for all road construction in the city and county to widen the roads. This comes up to about $250 million at today's rate, so let's see how serious they are about supporting our community. In the meantime, the inept Gang of 6 needs to get their checkbooks out because you are all responsible for your actions."


"The Code of Flag Display and Use (Public Law 829): The Flag shall be displayed on Memorial Day (Half Staff until Noon) That is correct ... Until Noon ... That in simple terms means 12:00 a.m. When the clock strikes noon, the flag will be sharply raised to the top ... Thank you all ... you Patriots..."


"I have a comment about Obama coming to Morehouse College for his speech. Do I think it was racially motivated? Yes, I do. You can fool some people by denying it, but you can't fool mother nature."

Comments

heresyafacts 1 year, 2 months ago

Obama stopped by Morehouse on his way to a $10,000/plate Democratic fundraiser hosted by Arthur "Build Me a Stadium" Blank. That was his real reason for coming out to Atlanta -- the Morehouse gig was just a sideshow for the media.

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1ayk 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes and also to keep the racial divide theory going.

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CitizenPat 1 year, 2 months ago

To the Mother of the kid caught cheating. I for one think that the teacher; trying to connect with the students by letting them listen to music should be applauded. Lot's of kids concentrate better when the artistic side of the brain is occupied.
Instead of berating the teacher, why don't you take a good look at yourself; after all you raised a cheater. Perhaps if you and the other parents raised children to respect teachers then they wouldn't feel it was okay to cheat. Cheating, lying, calling other people names like "dumb" was not tolerated when I grew up. I respected my teachers and they in turn respected and nurtured me right up to writing college recommendations and on to the Dean's list for all four years. Teacher's and Parents should be a united front.

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Sundance 1 year, 2 months ago

You need to spend some time in a high school becuase you are way off. The time to establish rapport and "connect" with kids is not during a test. They do not let you listen to headphones when you take a test in college or the SAT or othe standardized tests and there is a reason. Teachers and Administrators are to be "freindly but not freinds".

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CitizenPat 1 year, 2 months ago

Well, obviously we need to change what we are doing because the average scores for those "tests" you refer to keep going down. In fact, even what is considered a passable score is now lower to "help" the students pass. We need to accept that parents today are not placing the same kind of importance on school and grades as was done 20 years ago. I say the parents because we see in other cultures (Asian, Japanese...) where students are excelling so you can't really say that it's the teachers who aren't doing their part since we would see poor performance in all students if that were the case. Why are these students doing better?? Because their parents are making poor grades unacceptable. My parents made poor grades unacceptable. A passing grade was not "okay" I had to get A's and a B usually meant a reduction in TV watching, Going out with Friends and Phone time. I was motivated to do better and rewarded when I improved. When did letting your kid "just pass" become okay?

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Sundance 1 year, 2 months ago

Sorry. You lost me when you changec the subject from your idiotic stance that letting kids listen to headphones and text and look at pfotographed notes is OK during a test..

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WayBack 1 year, 2 months ago

The apartments in the 4A project will fill up quickly. It is the businesses that wont. If those apartments accept government housing vouchers, it will be nails in this town's coffin. My question is how many people on the city council have a personal interest in this project? I used to trust the leadership in this town but not now. Those guys let all of those cheap subdivisions and apartments be built in the late 90s and early 2000s now they are full of people who need daily police, fire, and DEFACS services. Also letting the message parlors and sex/drug supply stores in which attracts low-lifes.

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LoveIt 1 year, 2 months ago

I am in agreement with CitizenPat. The mother's trying to belittle the teacher to defend her cheating son is inexcusable. That is no way to raise a son with any backbone and moral compass. Meanwhile I am still a bit surprised by the teacher being so naive... Kids were pulling cheating tricks like that when I was in school (many years ago) and the wise teachers I had anticipated each angle they tried.... Teachers have to learn all their lives just like the rest of us. We don't walk in knowing all the answers ...and by the time we learn most of them, we are too old to use them!

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johndoemo_ 1 year, 2 months ago

I disagree. It sounds like the mom doesnt want her son to cheat and she caught him while the teacher is afraid or "too cool" to enforce school rules. Teachers have a hard job but that doesnt mean they can just let stuff slide because they are afraid to say no to kids. My parents didnt raise me to cheat and I still tried it. And if the teacher wanted the kids to listen to music during a test, she can play something appropriate aloud.

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CitizenPat 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree that the teacher was perhaps a little new to teaching and did not realize that some kids would try to take advantage. However, teachers are not allowed to take cell phones away from kids, in fact, they can ask that they be put away but, if students' refuse there is no disciplinary action supported by School Administration. And believe me today's teacher's who try to enforce the rules are often called in to meet with the Principal after the student's parents call to complain; they get letters in their files and are told quite simply to ignore the behavior. So, once again we have to look to parents to make sure children behave appropriately and quite frankly they are too busy refusing to be "limited" by their children to take the time and effort to make sure their kids are responsible.

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Elmo 1 year, 2 months ago

"...there is no disciplinary action supported by School Administration."

Therein lies the problem. Learning cannot take place in a disruptive environment.

Such cowardice on the part of such an "administration" only serves to pass the problem student on to society for someone else to contend with later in their life, like, the law.

Return discipline to the schools, and they could trash about 80 percent of those expensive "programs" that supposed to augment learning.

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SandraC 1 year, 2 months ago

What has Karen Handel ever done that wasn't conservative?

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Elmo 1 year, 2 months ago

Multi-family housing, by its very nature, puts a burden on the city/county in the form of police/fire protection, utilities, traffic, and schools. Given this additional requirement for services, taxes on them should be raised to supplement the costs involved. The additional taxes would likely be passed on in the form of increased rent, and would insure better tenants. New, or change of occupants should require an inspection, to insure the fire and safety before the apartment is rented...with the landlord bearing the cost of said inspections, and required repairs/improvements.

Many homeowners are under the rules of neighborhood covnents and are expected to keep their properties, so why not casual renters?

If any ten homeowners have to pay property taxes to live here and enjoy city/county services, then any ten renters should pay their "fair share", as well. Otherwise, it's just another re-distribution scheme, financed (along with taxpayer paid section 8 benefits) by the taxpayers and homeowners.

Residents with no skin in the game have no incentive to make this a better and safer place to live.

Of course, the best route would be to "just say, NO" to Four-A and and stop this folly in its tracks...but we all know that THAT won't happen, don't we?

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Clark 1 year, 2 months ago

And here is where our respective opinions diverge on this issue, Elmo. Multi-family housing is not intrinsically a burden on a community. If anything, it can (emphasis on can, not does) concentrate services leading to more efficient delivery. For a thousand units, you might need an extra 100 yards of county-maintained water and sewage mains, for the same number of houses in a subdivision, you might need three miles. Instead of sending a school bus an extra three miles out of its way deep into the neighborhood, it can make one stop and pick up everyone. Instead of needing two extra fire trucks to fan out all over the area, you could probably use what you already have. If you build it close to I-20 and other services, you wouldn't need to expand miles of roadway to accommodate the extra traffic, just a few hundred yards of extra lanes could do it.

However, the key here, is to do things right, which from the top, means no subsidized housing! Demand that this hypothetical complex be desirable for the middle and upper-middle class to move into and keep a rental price floor in place. Do I think this will happen with the Four-A development? NO! I agree with you and the other wholeheartedly on not going forward with it at this time.

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Conyers_Resident 1 year, 2 months ago

Apartment complexes and rental properties already pay property/school/city taxes at a higher rate than resident homeowners. They do not get homestead exemptions. Elmo, have you ever lived in an even moderately decent apartment complex? Inspections ARE required. Also, maintenance has the authority to enter your apartment as needed and they often do. So they check on the condition of the property as needed. They respond to any complaints from the tenants around your apartment. Most apartment complexes do complete interior painting, floor/carpet cleaning, stove/refrigerator etc. cleaning plus any needed repairs between leases. The ones I lived in (years ago) would paint/clean carpets and change drapes periodically for longer term tenants. Apartments serve an important role in communities. Not every one can own a home for various reasons, or even wants to own a home. The people who reside in the apartment pay county/city taxes as part of their rent. They usually shop locally at least some of the time and pay sales taxes. Information on how much tax is paid by the various apartments complexes is easily reviewed on the tax commissioners web site.. Now... all that said, in a small community like Rockdale, more apartment complexes will add to traffic congestion and that is a serious issue to many of us.

About people who rent houses verses home owners. Maybe you live in a perfect area, but in our part of the world, we have several homes that are rental property, some new and some that have been rental for years. Many of the people who rent properties take better care of their lawns and are neater than some of our home owners. It all depends on the person, and in my life I have not found that poor people (even the ones who get title 8 support perhaps) are more prone to slovenly habits than those better off. There are also codes in the city that will be enforced if you are willing to make a formal complaint.

I have seen many articles in recent years about the mixed use developments in question and by all accounts they are the thing that people and communities want. Rockdale can block everything, and progress will just skip right over us. When I drive through the Lithonia community, that is what I think happened to them, they were just skipped over. Rockdale has been my home for 30 years, and I enjoy living here and hope the best for it. There are three times as many people calling it home today was were here when we bought our house. Things change. I hope our Council will think about the traffic issue and make sure the developer pays for the water/sewage expansion. If those things are taken care of, there is no real reason to deny the developers the use of their property.

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Sundance 1 year, 2 months ago

"Many of the people who rent properties take better care of their lawns and are neater than some of our home owners." Many? renters who take care of their rental properties as well as a homeowner are the exception not the rule. As far as the mised use thing, I think it could work if the right people were running it and ensuring that it turned out to be upscale. I just dont know if this crew is the one to do it.

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Elmo 1 year, 2 months ago

My, my...you dont like anyone having an opinion other than yourself, do you?

But, youre right. My experience with communal housing consists of barracks in the military, and a dorm room in college. That convinced me that needed to work hard so that I could afford a home rather than be like a herd of sheep in a small corral.

One would get the idea from your intense support of multi-family that you might own some rental units. How long have you been with FourA Development anyway?

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superman 1 year, 2 months ago

We already have too many apartments in Rockdale. I agree that apartments are necessary and not everyone can/wants to own a house. But we already have plenty. Someone mentioned the vacant commercial buildings (ie. the old Publix). I would prefer a business use an existing structure versus building a new similarly sized structure- and I'm sure many others would agree with that. So with all of the empty apartments, and vacant houses why would be consider building more. The other apartment complexes would lose customers and potentially become abandoned.

I think the city is looking at the potential property tax. Right now they're now getting much tax revenue from an empty lot, but hey if 4A builds something that means they get more money. We need to pass on this deal. We should only accept a deal that would build office space, we have plenty of housing and retail establishments.

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BOCWatch 1 year, 2 months ago

Conyers_Resident; Homestead Excemption has no bearing on this discussion. The simple fact that a homeowner receives the Homestead Excemption doesn't mean that they are not paying taxes; it simply means that someone (HOST) is paying it for them.

As for the topic of rental property; Rockdale has quickly come to the point that it is a rent district; investor groups are swarming Rockdale to purchase forclosure priced homes for the sole purpose of renting these properties out. The City of Conyers two years ago announced that it is comprised of 65% renters. This number hasn't change and certainly the county residents are following suite. You only need to look at the current tax assessments to see this, while surrounding counties are seeing slight increases in their digest Rockdale sees a 18 - 20% drop. It isn't hard to see; I'll let you disern as to why this is happening. It is far too late to stop it at this point.

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Covingtonian 1 year, 2 months ago

To the poster about proper flag etiquette, 12 AM is midnight. I only mention this because you seem to be a stickler for rules and procedures and I wouldn't want anyone to call you out. Maybe I missed the comments concerning what seems to be a rash of bad judgment calls by law enforcement lately. There was one in another state who executed a hostage because he used bad judgment, we've had a couple recently to lose jobs due to moral terpitude infractions, another for D.U.I. and leaving the scene after being reinstated for fighting with his spouse, not to mention the sheriff in Clayton county, the ex trooper in Atlanta who kept getting involved in accidents until he finally took an innocent life, The officer in Florida with the Trevon Martin target silhouette, the allegation that a Ga. officer falsified his military record claiming to have earned a medal that he hadn't etc. Are pysch evals being done? My point, there are many fine honorable men and women serving and protecting but there are some bullies with a badge. Pull their certifications so that they will not be able to go from one department to another which has been the case for years.

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WayBack 1 year, 2 months ago

I totally agree with the commenter who mentioned the green space/median along 138 between Martha's Vineyard and Honey Creek. It's awful. There are dead trees falling over which need to be cut down, along with beautiful magnolias that look like they probably cost the county some money but haven't been pruned in ages (and the heat of the summer is coming). The fact that there are so many dead trees suggests that it has been a long, long time since anyone worked there. Who is in charge of maintenance for those medians? Why did the county purchase trees and sod and everything else to make that look nice if they were just going to abandon it? It's a disgrace and it makes our town look trashy.

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WayBack 1 year, 2 months ago

I just wanted to amend my latest comment-- I drove down 138 today and the median looked much better. The magnolias still need to be pruned and there was still at least one completely dead tree lying on its side, but the grass was mowed and that made a really big difference. Good job Rockdale! Thank you for helping our town look better!

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INJUSTICE_FOR_ALL 1 year, 2 months ago

Welcome to jungle, the new Rockdale.

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AWOL 1 year, 2 months ago

How does this comment help anything? Is it's purpose to encourage, uplift, inform? Are you just wanting to spread your personal unhappiness?

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