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Program to employ 100 students for the summer

Regardless of whether names of Selma’s youth are put in buckets, boxes or bags, there will be a summer youth program this year.

At its regular meeting Monday night, the City Council voted 8 to 0 to use $50,000 &uot;discovered&uot; by Finance Director Vickey Locke for a summer youth program that will provide part-time jobs for 100 students this summer.

Locke had previously been asked to take a look at the city’s budget and see if $50,000 in funds could be found for the program. The good news came to the council Monday night.

Locke explained the funds were lurking in a certificate of deposit fund that had been created for the Alabama Trust Fund. Selma’s general fund had fronted the money for the CD and was never reimbursed. However, with the council’s approval to use the funds for the summer youth program, the funds will now be reimbursed and the money freed.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. explained how the program could work. Participants will work 15 hours a week and not 20 as in past years. Also, Fridays will be off, and only 100 youths will be able to participate.

Perkins encouraged the council to accept his idea of a lottery for filling the 100 slots available in the program. He suggested all the names of those wanting to be a part of the program be put into a hat &045;&045; or a bucket &045;&045; based on eligibility criteria.

One of those criteria is the students’ economically disadvantaged status.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell said she didn’t believe neighborhoods should play a role in the selection process, but she did think the city’s wards should be considered.

President George Evans agreed, saying he supported the lottery system if each ward had its own bucket of names.

Sewell said she liked the concept of a 60 percent-40 percent split being applied to the lottery. Sixty percent of the names would be economically disadvantaged students; the others wouldn’t.

Perkins described what he thought some council members were stating: a total of 16 buckets would be used in the lottery; two for each ward. One bucket in each ward would have names of economically disadvantaged students in them; the other buckets would have the names of those students who weren’t economically disadvantaged.

If the council wanted 16 buckets, Perkins said it was fine even though he didn’t agree with it. His concern was for the youth, he said.

A vote for using the $50,000 for the summer youth program then passed unanimously. Councilman Sam Randolph wasn’t present.

Sewell made a motion after the first vote passed to use the 60/40 percent model across the board, which would create 16 buckets of names.

Evans clarified the bucket discussion.

The vote to apply the 60/40 model passed 7 to 0. Evans recused himself.

Applications for the summer youth program will be accepted Monday, May 19, between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center. Applicants must

be 15 to 21, must know which ward they reside in and bring proof of household income, whether it be a check stub or Social Security statement.

The lottery will occur Wednesday, May 21, at 5:00 p.m. at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.