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POSTED: July 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

If you believe our online polls at bryancountynews.net, a majority of you don't trust your public officials and the possibility of school uniforms was the biggest issue in the county last year .

Me, I tend to take polls the same way I try to take myself – not too seriously and with at least grain of salt.

For one thing, the polls are not scientific because we're not trained pollsters. What's more, you can only vote in a poll once a day, but you can vote more than once if you’re dedicated enough to come back to the site day after day after day.

Even with that, the results probably say something about us here in Bryan County - though your guess is as good as mine as to what that might be.

I do know the biggest response we've ever gotten to a poll question came in May 2007 when we asked: "Should the Bryan County school board institute a uniform policy for next school year?"

The result: 1,358 of you said no while 1,180 of you voted yes.

The second biggest response to one of our polls came when we asked you in March 2007 if you thought school uniforms were a good idea. The final tally: no 476, yes 337.

Few polls since have drawn that kind of response - or have been as close, though the one about the Seafood Festival comes to mind.

We asked in October 2007 if you planned on attending the upcoming Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival.

The results: no 89; yes 75; maybe 34.

Compare that to a question we asked April 23 on whether you participated in Georgia Cities Week activities. The results were a blowout: no 98; yes 19. That's more in line with most of our polls, which tend to be runaways in one direction or the other.

In February 2007 we asked if you thought the county seat should be moved from Pembroke to Richmond Hill, since at the time there was a petition going around to that effect.

Yes beat no by a 384-139 margin Yet far as I can tell, the county seat remains in Pembroke - which is where it belongs, far as I'm concerned.

In another relative runaway, it appears most of you are for Sunday liquor by the drink in Richmond Hill restaurants. We asked that on March 14 and the result was 139 in favor, 57 against. That issue comes up for a vote in September, by the way.

While most of our polls have been about local issues, sometimes we sneak one in occasionally about something going on at the state or national level.

The responses to those are interesting, too. For example, last year when state lawmakers were pondering issuing a statement of regret for Georgia’s role in slavery a vast majority of you were against it. The numbers: no 389; yes 45. And only nine folks said an apology was due because the statement of regret didn’t go far enough.

But like I said earlier, most of the time the questions are about local stuff. Worst traffic spot in Richmond Hill? We asked that and found people have widely differing opinions - but "anywhere on 144" easily outpolled several other options - including 144 near the schools, which some have suggested is the root of all traffic evil in Richmond Hill. Having been stuck in traffic on Hwy. 144 at 6 p.m. and nowhere near the schools, I can assure you that ain't the only problem.

Or "Do you think moving the county's offices - to include the health department - in South Bryan from Richmond Hill to Hwy. 144 near Fort McAllister is a good idea?"

No got 125 votes, yes 17.

Or how about the much discussed conference center, which was approved by voters in 2005 but changed in both scope and location, prompting some folks to ask for another public hearing on the matter.

That in turn prompted us to asked in January if you thought Richmond Hill officials ought to hold a public hearing on the center and you said yes by a 187-44 margin. Of course, there hasn't been one yet and it doesn't appear there will be.

Maybe that's part of the reason we got a lopsided result when we later asked, "Do you think local government leaders have your best interests in mind?" When I checked Friday afternoon, the numbers said 172 of you voted no to the question while only 38 said yes.

I'd take that with a grain of salt, too.

 

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