Salaam, Story both oppose annexation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 13, 2002

House District 67 seat candidates Yusuf Salaam and Mark Story may have an election fight ahead, but they agree on one thing. Valley Grande should not be annexed by the city of Selma.

Both Story and Salaam addressed Valley Grande residents at a meeting Tuesday, where the majority of the residents said they did want to be annexed by Selma.

Residents in Valley Grande expressed fears over the possibility of annexation ever since hearing about a booklet called the

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&uot;The City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study.&uot; The 66-page booklet was prepared by the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission at the request of Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr.

The booklet, which Perkins passed out to council members, describes the economic impact of annexation on Selma and the surrounding areas.

Perkins says the booklet was only a study. Others, among them City Council members Glenn Sexton and Rita Sims Franklin, have suggested that the study is a prelude to a proposal for Selma to annex surrounding areas, including Valley Grande.

Story and Salaam both said that they would not support annexation.

Salaam said he felt that the issue had turned into a political issue, something he said he hoped would not happen.

Story, who lives in the Valley Grande area and is also a member of the Dallas County Board of Education, said he was &uot;totally against&uot; annexation.

Story said one of the biggest reasons for being against annexation was that residents in the area wanted to remain a part of the Dallas County School system, rather than join with Selma City Schools, a fear, he said, expressed by many residents in Valley Grande.