Too many cooks ruin good ideas

Published 4:38pm Saturday, February 9, 2013

We’ve all heard it before, especially during the holidays, when mother yells out, “There’s too many cooks in the kitchen. Get out.”

Those words, and the particular tone mother might have used, was a clear indication that whoever is in the kitchen that wasn’t doing something productive, should get out.

Such is the case involving the recent approval of the occupational fee increase in the city of Selma and the process to help stabilize the YMCA of Selma.

For months the council, both in committees and in full council,  have talked about how an increase in the city’s occupational fee — or lodging fee — could go to help the YMCA of Selma.

It was an idea that has been used in other cities and an idea that nearly everyone agreed was a win-win scenario. On one hand, the city of Selma would be able to help support and technically save a crucial institution in the city of Selma and on the other the city wouldn’t be incurring any additional costs as they would have the support paid for by those who don’t live in the area.

But it seems there have simply been too many cooks in the kitchen.

Instead of having the well thought out plan presented to the council by the mayor for quick approval, the council and mayor decided instead to get input from every single person they could think of. We’re surprised they did not have a special meeting to discuss the idea with those who operate small car washing facilities.

The process took far too long and became far too complicated. What should have been a few weeks turned into months and became a political hot potato that no one was strong enough to tackle.

Now we have seen the fee increase approved, but the discussion of the needed contract between the city of Selma and the YMCA of Selma, has again broken down into who gets what, who needs what and what do so-and-so get out of the deal.

It is simply being made far too difficult.

Which makes us think if they’re this disorganized in making a decision for the lodging fee, what can we can expect from the on-again, off-again talk about a half-cent sales tax increase in Selma?

There seem to be far too many people involved, far too many ideas being tossed about and no clear indication of what is going to happen, who is going to get the money and for how long.

The idea of the occupational fee increase was clear-cut, well defined and yet we have still had all these problems. If the mayor and council are not able to clearly define the proposed half-cent sales tax to either themselves or to the public, then we can only imagine the confusion and disappointment to come.

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