The Citizen Poll is returning to its roots. Starting next week, contributors to the Rockdale Citizen Poll and Newton Citizen Poll will be asked to respond to a different question each week on an issue of local interest. On occasion the Poll will be an “open line,” allowing readers to comment on what’s on their minds. This is the format that the Citizen Poll followed when it first began publication in the Rockdale Citizen more than 20 years ago. We hope that this return to the original format will encourage our readers to share input that will contribute to a thought-provoking community conversation.

The question for each Citizen Poll will be published a week in advance in print, on our websites and on our Facebook pages. Contributors may respond by phone, email, on our websites or in writing.

Newton Citizen Poll contributors are asked to respond to this question: “What do you think about the Board of Commissioners’ plan to implement a user fee for the county’s recycling convenience centers?” Respond at 770-483-7108, ext. 403; email at poll@newtoncitizen.com, online at www.newtoncitizen.com; or in writing at: Newton Citizen Poll, 969 S. Main St., Conyers, GA 30012.

Responses to this question will be published online and in our Saturday, June 20, print editions.

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: poll@newtoncitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“Of course Levie Maddox and John Douglas opposed the Durden settlement. They couldn’t care less how much hard-working taxpayer money is spent as long as their egos are intact and they can say I opposed something. I live in District 1, and I will vote for anyone who runs against John Douglas.”

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“The county’s exorbitant legal expenses remain a hot topic. At Tuesday’s BOC budget meeting, it was stated that county departments regularly come in under or on their legal services line item. It is the Board of Commissioners themselves who regularly bust the budget for legal services. Point the finger where it should be pointed.”

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“The old man has a few things to say. First, the Dave Belton columns are boring. Give us analysis instead of a regurgitation of statistics. We can find that in the library. Two, I am no fan of any of the local colleges, but leave the lady who likes to complain about them alone. Maybe she has a point. GPC reports a 6.7 grad rate … mmmmm. Three, the BOC is horrible. Throw all of them out in 2016, particularly the chair. Four, the BOE has horrible speaking skills and they all need a long course in grammar and mechanics. It is shocking who gets elected in this county, but of course normal people are too busy making a living to worry about any of this. Who can blame them? … ”

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“So Dave Belton spouts a bunch of numbers he does not source, yet offers no solutions. Typical Republican, and let’s remember we need to replace him in the next cycle. His win was by no means a landslide. NCLA put forth a candidate, please. Honestly, Hillary could teach these guys a thing or two. Shut up and no one will get much traction. Publish an unsourced column and show yourself to have no solutions to anything.”

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“Ronnie Johnston, what are you on? I want some of it! Covington — the No. 1 place to work and live? We are saturated with corrupt and nepotistic elected officials who provide comic relief to the General Assembly and unanimously support a county attorney second only to the Clintons in controversy. Education is below par by far to private school and home school education. Realtors never brag about NCSS as a selling point. They cannot. Oxford residents work like crazy to avoid Newton High and use the intergovernmental agreement to Social Circle High. Our central corridor resembles Beirut in 1980. County services are skeletal due to dried up budgets — thanks BOC. We cannot even cool the library since we built one we don’t need. Ronnie should write poetry by the river. We may think he is a dreamer, and he must be the only one.”

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“Ronnie Johnston, bless your heart. Your Alpharetta-haze remains over your rosey glasses. You must have what they call ‘say it enough until we all believe it’s true’ syndrome. In what world do the numbers show any promise of Covington, Ga., becoming the No. 1 place to live. Have you looked around you? Was he serious?”

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“We will miss Lee Peck in NCSS … NCSS is going down, down, down, and many of us are getting out! Tip of the iceberg.”

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“Ronnie Johnston, please share your dreams and aspirations for making Newton County the best place to live with the folks at MetroPCS. I bet they have a different opinion.”

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“So this is three years in a row that Commissioner Maddox has led the charge to raise taxes in Newton County. This year it’s an unbelievable $5 million. He wants to increase tipping fees, wants permits to use the recycling centers, and wants more property taxes. Is there no end to his gouging the Newton County taxpayers? To top it off, he wants to make the county employees wait until next year to get their long-deserved raises.”

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“Dear Ronnie Johnston, in preparation for your next column please include content from the Newton jail log and police blotter. That may help you to balance your dreams of making Newton County the No. 1 spot to work and play and thrive. It may also help you to understand why many of us have plans to leave Newton County in the next one to three years. You better start working on a new tax base. Given the number of residents, crime is disproportionately high in this town and in this county. Drugs are rampant in the county and in the schools. Domestic abuse and domestic crimes are up. Property crimes are up. Please explain your goals for fixing these things on your march to make Newton the No. 1 place.”

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“I see in today’s paper the county has finally settled the Durden case after spending $200,000 in legal fees. Durden had (his contract rejected over business license issues). At the same time our county attorney, Tommy Craig, owed (millions) in unpaid … taxes. I really do not understand why Mr. Craig was not fired also.”

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