Selma can improve by investing in self

Published 10:06pm Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The exterior appearance of a city is often the largest part of first impressions. As visitors enter Selma, or any other city, the look of buildings, streets and perhaps even city vehicles can form the opinion of tourists.

Perhaps by investing in itself, city government can improve the quality of life for Selma residents and visitors.

The Selma city council took a positive step Tuesday toward helping the city improve when it voted in favor of purchasing three new police vehicles.

The appearance of the cars are hardly important. Public safety plays a much more significant role in a decision to buy the new vehicles. For Chief of Police William Riley, the decision to purchase SUVs instead of other vehicles was purely pragmatic. Riley said the Ford Explorers would offer more room inside the vehicle. The SUVs also came at a good price, considering the other option was to continue using cars that could rack up high repair bills, if damaged.

With the purchase of the new cars, the police department will likely save money in repair bills and have enough resources to provide for its growing police department.

Sure, an incident of domestic violence may not have an effect on the city’s appearance, but it’s a needed capital investment that will, in turn, save the city money to spend on other areas.

The city council constantly discusses purchasing new equipment for various departments, like a front-end loader, vehicles, or tractors. Investing in new equipment allows city employees to perform their jobs more efficiently and accomplish more.

Perhaps equipment is the most vital resource for the city. Ensuring basic services run well should be the first and foremost goal of city government.

The council has already taken two important steps toward that goal, by voting in favor of purchasing police vehicles and two fire trucks, but other departments could use new equipment as well.

Aside from the police and fire departments, public works would also be a vital area to invest in new capital equipment. The Public works department are certainly a direct contributor to the appearance of the city, and, in turn, how tourists perceive our city.

Though they are not direct contributor’s the City of Selma’s financial departments are also an important area to invest in. The city council recently voted to make its second payment on a software program that helps collect taxes.

By ensuring that the city can effectively and adequately collect revenue, the council will have money left over to pay for road improvements and buy equipment for various city departments.

It’s been said many times, but improving the city’s image is vital for the several anniversaries approaching in 2015.

150th anniversary of the Battle of Selma and the 75th anniversary of the Edmund Pettus Bridge’s construction.

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