To the editor: A recent newspaper article in the Newton Citizen brought out that a school board member was writing a column in the Newton Citizen that had his title and position from the Board of education. I know some of you may not agree with some of Mr. (Jeff) Meadors' views, and from time-to-time, I do not either. But in a free society it is healthy to have a public debate on government.
One point was brought out about the paper using his title. It has been the custom of the Newton Citizen and The Covington News both to do this practice. It is important for the public to know this is an elected official for the people and if the people that he or she represents do not like what is in an article, they have recourse. It's called an election and sometimes even a recall.
As elected officials, you have a duty to uphold the laws of this state. I am not sure if there was a violation of open meeting laws or not. But the allegation concerns me as a citizen. I have asked the Ga. Attorney General's office to look in to it. What they do it is up to them.
The First Amendment is very important to this nation it is the glue that holds us together. Below is what it says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
This gives all the freedom of religion, speech, press and to peaceably assemble against the government.
I know it is an election year for some of you. But if you truly put what is best for the children first, you should have no problem with re-election. It is time that the community comes together not for politics but for the children. We have a lot of work to do. Let's all stop throwing spit balls at each other and roll our sleeves up and go to work to help educate the children of Newton County.
Mark G Harrah