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Residents receive mysterious automated call condemning millage rate increases
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Newton County residents have been receiving automated phone calls opposing any millage rate increases and accusing Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan and commissioners J.C. Henderson, Nancy Schulz and Earnest Simmons of wasting money on selfish, special interest projects.

The phone call goes on to support the stands of commissioners Mort Ewing and Tim Fleming and urges residents to call all of the commissioners to make their views known.

The sponsor of the automated calls has not been identified and Newton County GOP Chairman Ester Fleming said the local Republican party was not involved. He said he supports the message because he does not want to see property taxes increased, but he stressed that the local GOP did not organize or pay for the phone calls.

The phone call is from the phone number (231) 732-2611, a number that has been leased out to a client by Michigan-based Lucie Communications Inc. A Lucie representative said the client chose to be unlisted and that Lucie could not give out the information without a subpoena. The call is from an automated female voice and is 1 minute and 21 seconds long.

For more information read Friday's edition of The Covington News.

Below is the transcript:

Hello, I'm calling you as a concerned citizen to inform you of the reckless actions of your county commission chairman Kathy Morgan and commissioners Nancy Schulz, J.C. Henderson and Earnest Simmons. In times of economic hardships when your neighbors are losing their jobs and families are having trouble making ends meet, these commissioners want to raise your property taxes to pay for their useless, wasteful, selfish special interest projects. Yes, they want to steal more money from you to spend on more pork. The taxpayers of Newton County deserve better. Call these commissioners at 678-625-1202, 678-625-1202, and demand that they do not raise your property taxes in these tough times. And be sure to thank commissioners Tim Fleming and Mort Ewing for standing for the Newton County taxpayers by opposing these ridiculous tax increases. Thank you.