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Posted: February 18, 2009 12:30 a.m.

What a hassle

Since when is a state issued Ga. drivers license not an acceptable form of identification and proof of residency in Newton County. I can and must use this license to vote, get a passport, apply for employment, buy alcohol or tobacco, apply for a gun permit, get a loan or checking account, and numerous other privileges that all Americans are accustomed to. It's called life.

One thing I found out today was that I can't use the license as a form of identification to use the local recycling centers. I have lived in Newton County since 1996. My office has been in Snellville (Gwinnett County) since 1985, thus my company issued pick-up has a Gwinnett tag. When I first moved here and started using the centers, I was given a round decal that affixed to my windshield that said Newton County Resident. It was green in color. My personally owned auto has a specialty Fight Breast Cancer tag and no county label nor a place for one.

After a good weekend of yard work I attempted to take the grass clippings, newspapers and trash to the local Recycling Center down the street. I was informed by the attendant on duty that I had the wrong tag on my truck. I explained that my office was in Gwinnett but I lived up the street. I had my license and offered to show him, but I was told that a driver's license was not acceptable. His reasoning was that a license could be issued for "at least 10 years and I wouldn't bother to have the address changed."

If I remember right, there is a time frame where you must change your license when you move to a new address. I was told that when I returned to the center I must bring a light bill as proof of residency. I was given a small brochure put out by Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful. No. 1 on the rules list, (Newton County residents only. Be prepared to show I.D.) Every year of my 12 years of being a resident here, my property taxes have gone up due to "property reassessment" with the exception of last year. To whom should I and other tax paying citizens of Newton County trying to do the right thing turn?

I have talked to my County Commissioner, Mr. Mort Ewing, tonight and he stated that we had been having trouble with out of county persons using the centers. He was unaware that a driver's license wasn't acceptable and said that he would check into the situation and get back with me. I wonder how many times a week someone drives over from Gwinnett County to dispose of their grass clippings and old newspapers. Some times a person must use common sense. A utility bill to recycle? What has this county come to?

Maybe if there wasn't such a hassle to use the Recycling Centers and deal with such inept people there would not be as much roadside litter that we all see.


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