Annex talks get ‘personal’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2003

A discussion on annexation turned into what one City Council member called a &uot;personal attack.&uot;

At Wednesday night’s continued council meeting, Councilman Glenn Sexton said that Mayor James Perkins Jr. hadn’t been truthful about the annexation issue from day one.

Sexton said that Perkins was trying to divide the Selmont community and then force them to join Selma.

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Tuesday night Perkins spoke at a meeting in Selmont concerning the recent focused annexation study by KPS Group Senior Vice President Darrell Meyer.

The study proposes to annex the business corridors along U.S. Highway 80 and then roll back the police jurisdiction to Selma’s city limits. Selma would then invite adjoining residents of the community to join with the city in order to obtain city-funded services such as police and fire protection.

Perkins, however, pointed out that the council voted to commission the annexation plan from KPS Group.

President George Evans said the council didn’t need &uot;personal attacks,&uot; adding that Sexton’s comments bordered on slander.

Evans said such bickering doesn’t alter the need for Selma to expand in order to avoid becoming landlocked.

Councilwoman Jean Martin said she thought Meyer’s presentation last week was clear and well done. She added that Perkins was waiting for the council to make a decision.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell suggested that the Selmont corridor be annexed but the police jurisdiction not be withdrawn to Selma’s limits.

Sewell also wanted City Attorney Jimmy Nunn to go through two proposed annexation resolutions with the council before they were voted on, but Evans said that would be &uot;repetitious.&uot;

Evans said the council would have more time to discuss the resolutions with state legislators if they were tabled.

The motion to table the resolutions was put forward by Sexton and passed unanimously.

In other matters the council:

Perkins, though, clarified that Valley Grande’s incorporation did include a business on Citizen’s Parkway, and he asked if he could sit down with Story and take a look at his maps of the area.

She said the Selmont community wanted to make its own choice about annexation or incorporation.

After the Nov. 5, 2002, election, Richmond said she spoke with a number of people and was told that they wanted to incorporate Selmont.

Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin said it had been stated that annexing the Selmont corridor would split the community.

Richmond said it was a concern and that the community wouldn’t be able to incorporate if that was the case.

She added that a meeting at Tipton Junior High was set for March 3 at 5 p.m. to discuss what occurred at Wednesday’s meeting.