The Newton Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Newton 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. 403, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online form.
This week’s question was: “Do you support a proposal to use $5 million in SPLOST revenues earmarked for a civic center to renovate Olive Swann Porter Hall? Why or why not?”
“I do support the $5M to the civic center as opposed to paying down debt. There are very few things that Newton County offers for its children and youth. Consider this — there is not a community-wide pool except at the YMCA, and it is tiny. There is not a movie theater, bowling alley, putt putt, or go-cart track (adults only for the one here.) The recreation programs are in rapid decline because the Rec Department would not work with travel programs so everyone has left them to play travel (mostly out of county). So what the arts program provides for our kids is one of very few options that parents have who live in Newton County. The program is well run, wonderful programming, strong partnership with the private sector, and brings a steady flow of traffic downtown as parents bring their kids for dance and voice lessons. I know many in Newton don’t value the arts , for heaven’s sake at least help provide something for the youth of the community. Not to mention, if they can partner with the school system to share in operations, that is a win/win.”
“I absolutely do not support spending money on the old Newton High auditorium. I want that money spent on a new civic center, something big enough to allow Newton County schools to actually hold graduations in Newton County. I don’t want money wasted on remodeling something that’s still going to end up being too small to be useful for the majority of us. To top it all off, the location isn’t really convenient to me. On the Bypass in the area of Covington Ford would be perfect. There’s plenty of land available.”
“Yes — use the money for the renovation and use for the arts and the greater community. Anytime we can use monies in a private/public partnership we should. The county and the BOC have proven time and time again that their use of funds should be suspect. Besides, I would bet the attorney fees to oversee the chairman getting permission to sign a big check for debt reduction would be really high.”
“Only if John Douglas agrees to be an actor in the play ‘The Help’ at the new theater.”