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Here’s one way to express your opinion

I hope you’ve noticed the Online Opinion Poll question we’vebeen running this week on the front page.

I hope you’ve noticed the Online Opinion Poll question we’vebeen running this week on the front page. This is a feature that’sexclusive to our website — www.dailyleader.com — which I hopeyou’ve also had a chance to view.

Let me point out a few things about the Online Opinion Poll. Itis an unscientific poll — very unscientific. Anybody with Internetservice can vote as many times as they like.

Or to put it simply, the ballot box can be stuffed.

I logged on last night at about nine o’clock to check theresults of the first poll, which asks: “With the county having topay for over $1 million in new and existing equipment purchases, doyou favor the county’s return to the beat system of government onOct. 1?” At that time 252 votes had been cast, 55.16% for the beatsystem and 44.84% against.

This morning at 7:15 when I got the final totals, 327 votes hadbeen cast, 50.15% for the beat system and 49.85 against it. There’sno way to know how many people were involved in casting those 75votes overnight.

We’ve also taken some criticism this week for this particularquestion, too. The beat system won fair-and-square in the Novembergeneral election, we’ve been told, and the point is moot.

That’s exactly right. The beat system of county government willreturn to Lincoln County on Oct. 1 regardless of what anybodythinks about it now.

What we were trying to do is see how voters feel about makingthe switch now that they know county taxes, along with garbagecollection fees, are going up.

We’ve also been asked by some readers how they can make commentsto go with the Online Opinion Poll question.

The options on voting on the poll are strictly yes or no, butyou’ll notices several places on the website that say “Send Us.”From there you can send general comments, letters to the editor, orinformation for any other features, such as engagement and weddingannouncements. You can also suggest a question for the OnlineOpinion Poll.

CAN IT HAPPEN?

A Streetscape — or beautification plan — for BrookwayBoulevard and Monticello Street was officially unveiled to thepublic this week.

The plan, which comes with a $1.5 million price tag, waspresented by landscape architect Dwight Weatherford. It isbeautiful.

While some are skeptical of the costs, and there is still lotsof money to be raised by the chamber of commerce’s BeautificationCommittee, we already know what this community can do if it putsits mind to it. A perfect example is the renovation of LamptonAuditorium.

And, remember when a new school on the then-rapidlydeteriorating Whitworth College campus was just talk?

SPECIAL THANKS

Again this year, I was invited to the home of George and EvaLambright to enjoy boiled peanuts. This year’s get-togetherincluded special entertainment by the Lambright’s granddaughter,Katherine Shell. Thanks for the great time!

A SAD DAY Some days in the news business leaveme wishing I had chosen another profession. Thursday was one ofthose days as it brought the sad news from Bogue Chitto that threeyoung lives had been lost. This tragedy has reached beyond BogueChitto to every corner of the state.

Many thoughts and prayers are going out to the families andfriends of Traci Sasser, Chuck Ingles and Zack Dunaway. Mine areincluded.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, send faxes to 833-6714, or e-mail to nlaster@telepak.net.She’d love to hear from you.