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Perkins: Just a study and nothing else

The sounds of applause filled the Selma City Council chambers Monday night after Mayor James Perkins Jr. defended the recent annexation study he commissioned.

The 66-page City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study was created at the request of Perkins by the Alabama Tombigbee Planning Commission.

Perkins called the booklet, which evoked considerable criticism among citizens in communities surrounding Selma, merely a study &uot;and nothing else.&uot;

A number of Valley Grande residents claimed that the booklet was a prelude to Selma annexing surrounding areas against the wishes of residents living in those areas. Some Valley Grande residents are pushing for the area to incorporate to prevent such a move.

During his address to the council, Perkins said that &uot;at no time&uot; did he try and sneak annexation by &uot;any member of the public, city or county.&uot;

Perkins said he holds no animosity toward Valley Grande residents for what he called &uot;negative personal attacks&uot; as well as &uot;false statements&uot; made against him.

He then pointed out the disadvantages to communities that were considering the possibility of incorporating, including that those communities would pay more in property insurance alone than they would pay in city property tax.

Perkins added that incorporation would also mean that the sheriff’s department would have to add more officers or that the community would &uot;have to add a police department.&uot;

The council then passed a resolution supporting the annexation feasibility study, voting 5-4 in favor of the resolution, with Council members Glenn Sexton, Rita Franklin, B. L. Tucker and James Durry voting against it.

Sexton, addressing Perkins, said, &uot;You had more than enough time to make this [the City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study] available to the probate judge and members of the county and city. You didn’t do so.&uot;

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell as well other council members praised Perkins’ address in support of the study.

Evans, who also voted in support of the resolution, said the council should have had more time to discuss the study before it was given to the surrounding communities.