Participants in the annual Selma Youth Conference work to complete vessels to transport and protect an egg during an egg drop project Friday at the Performing Arts Center. The project came on day three of the annual four-day conference. The new city youth and senior citizen coordinator will host similar conferences in the city. -- Ashley Johnson

City adds youth, senior coordinator position

Published 10:32pm Friday, February 15, 2013

The city of Selma approved the creation of a new position in the city government. Mayor George Evans said his office is looking for an enthusiastic individual to take on the task of youth and senior citizen coordinator on Tuesday at the Selma City Council Meeting.

The council passed a resolution that this newly created position, which pays $29,577 annually, would be funded by unused secretary salary and benefits in the city’s planning and development department.

“I think that a position like that is going to be healthy for the citizens of Selma, considering we have this big communication gap between the young and the old,” said Ward 4 councilwoman Angela Benjamin who voted in favor of the position on Tuesday. “I think it will help bridge that communication gap.”

She said there is a gamut of issues with youth and this new position will help invest in youth to rid those issues.

“These are the people we will leave our city to, and so if we don’t invest in them now, who knows what is going to happen to our Queen City,” Benjamin said. “When looking to give [our youth] wisdom and experience, who better than our senior citizens. We absolutely have to have mentors and examples [for our youth] and people who are going to show them the right way to do things.”

Evans said the job would require the person in the position to devote 75 percent of their work to youth and 25 percent of their work to the senior citizens. The job description online says the employee must implement school-based 4-H clubs; implement and supervise social and recreational activities; implement an effective youth summer enrichment program like day camps; and conduct excursions with senior citizens — just to name several responsibilities.

And while Benjamin said she has seen many other cities invest in their youth, it’s an investment at what cost?

Ward 1 councilman, Dr. Cecil Williamson, said why he did not vote yes on the issue.

“That position from a financial standpoint, with the sales tax being down and the lodging tax down, I am not sure that this is the time to be creating new positions,” Williamson said.

It was reported in the meeting that sales tax revenues are down 20 percent from where they were last year at this time.

 

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