Valley Grande residents leave empty-handed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 15, 2002

They came, and then left in a hurry.

Most Valley Grande community residents, who attended a Selma City Council meeting Monday, departed quickly from the meeting after their spokesman, Jeff Edwards, offered councilmembers a few words.

Before Edwards spoke, Councilwoman Nancy Sewell read a resolution in support of &uot;The City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study,&uot; a 66-page booklet done by the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission at the request of Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr.

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The study describes the economic impact of annexation on Selma and the surrounding areas.

Sewell, reading the resolution, thanked Perkins for his part in making the study possible. Perkins is in South Korea on an economic development trip and was not in attendance.

Refusing to make any comments to the media, Valley Grande residents then left the council meeting to attend a community meeting at Martin Middle School.

Council members then held a discussion on the annexation issue.

During the discussion, Valley Grande resident Robert Blair, who briefly addressed the council, asked the council to pass a resolution saying they would not take any action on annexation until there was further dialogue with residents living in Valley Grande.

Even though the council declined to pass a resolution, Council President George Evans said he would not agree to any decision on annexation without &uot;having a dialogue with the surrounding areas first.&uot;

Local resident Lee Goodwin then spoke on the annexation issue, criticizing council members Glenn Sexton and Rita Franklin for &uot;supporting&uot; the Valley Grande community rather than Selma.

Sexton and Franklin, who both spoke at a Valley Grande community meeting last week, told residents in the area that annexation of the Valley Grande area by Selma was possible.

Goodwin then criticized the water board for raising rates without &uot;letting [local] residents know anything about it.&uot; He further urged the City Council to exercise more authority over how the water board conducts its business.

In other business:

Franklin, who read the resolution, said the Selma City Council adopted the plan in 1998, but that nothing was recorded in the council’s minutes. The plan will be effective starting Oct. 22 of this year.