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Council speaks out – Evans: Keep water board out of the courts

The Selma City Council wants the Selma Water Works & Sewer Board to solve its problems outside the courtroom.

Council President George Evans drove that point home at the Water Board’s meeting yesterday. According to Evans, the council had been hearing several different stories about the board which led the council to pass a resolution.

Evans said the resolution asked the board to resolve its current legal issues without going to court. The Water Board is currently fighting a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which stated the board had discriminated against blacks with respect to promotions, among other items.

Out of nine council members, six signed the resolution. Council members B.L. Tucker, Glenn Sexton and Rita Sims Franklin declined to put their names on the resolution. Tucker and Sexton are both members of the Water Board.

Councilman Sam Randolph &045;&045; also a member of the Water Board &045;&045; wasn’t present at the Monday meeting.

In response to Evans, Billy Hicks &045;&045; Water Board member &045;&045; said the board didn’t use money collected from taxes. Instead, the board’s revenue is gained from water and sewer fees.

Hicks also said Sexton and Tucker &045;&045; Water Board members who voted to fight the EEOC ruling &045;&045; understood the situation. However, he added that Randolph didn’t because he often comes to meetings late.

Hicks also said the EEOC’s investigator

only spoke with complainants before returning to Birmingham and signing a complaint.

Gary Thompson, attorney representing the board, agreed with Hicks. He said the EEOC’s offers to settle the issue were unreasonable.

President George Evans, though, reiterated the fact that he didn’t have a lot of information on the matter; he hoped, though, that the board could find a way to come together and work things out.

Water Board member Marvin Melton then asked Evans if the city of Selma would fight a ruling against them that they didn’t believe was justified.