Search to fill empty city positions continues

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 31, 2003

The applications for city hall are in, and the fight has begun.

At Thursday night’s City Council meeting the 92 names of people that have applied for the positions of city clerk, treasurer and finance director were discussed.

President George Evans said that the list should be narrowed, discussed and then the interviewing process begin.

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Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw suggested that each council member list five choices and then submit them in order to narrow the selection process.

After a show of hands the measure was passed.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. then took to the podium and said that the council had made its decision about how the process was to occur. However, he added, he wanted to remind the council that the finance director would be appointed by him.

Crenshaw agreed with Perkins, and said she would follow his recommendation.

Perkins added that he deserved to know what procedure the council was going to use to select candidates for the open positions.

Evans then said that at this point candidates’ names were just being discussed and that the process should be allowed to continue. He added that there was no need to fight about it now.

But fight they did.

Perkins said that he wanted to be certain about the process, and be clear how it was being dealt with. &uot;I’m not raising a ruckus,&uot; Perkins said. &uot;I’m just asking a question.&uot;

Crenshaw agreed, and added that the council needed to address Perkins’ question so they could move on.

Evans, though, said that the council needed to discover if they even wanted a finance director. He added that he had mixed feelings about the position.

Councilman Glenn Sexton also expressed reservations about the position. &uot;Did we need a finance director in the previous term?&uot; he asked.

Councilman James Durry quickly answered Sexton’s query. &uot;We didn’t. We sure didn’t.&uot;

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell said that a committee dealing with the applicants’ names needed a chance to go over them.

Crenshaw, a member of that committee, said that she was going into the committee meeting to deal with two positions only. Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin, another committee member, said that she was going there to discuss three.

Evans, cautious in his remarks, brought the meeting to a close by saying that everyone couldn’t always have their way. He added that he thought the opinions of others should be given respect.

In other matters the council:

Both votes passed seven to two with Sexton and Franklin voting against.

The accord currently has provisions for the make-up of the school board based on race.

Crenshaw said that the city didn’t need an accord like that, and added that it was cowardice to keep it in place.

Durry, however, said that the reality of prejudice could be painted over, but it would still be there.

Sewell, a member of that committee, said that the task was a difficult one and added that she would like a consultant to aid the committee’s endeavors.

She also said, though, that a consultant would cost too much money.

Evans said that he would be looking for more feedback from the committee at the next meeting.