Council gets its funds back

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

If Selma City Council members want their discretionary funds replenished, they now have the opportunity.

The council voted Monday night 6 – 3 in favor of replacing monies taken from their discretionary funds that were originally removed to offset budget deficits. The monies will come from the city’s sinking fund &045;&045; a kind of savings account.

About $30,000 will be removed from the sinking fund if all council members remove monies owed them.

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Council members Glenn Sexton, Rita Sims Franklin, Nancy Sewell, B.L. Tucker, James Durry and President George Evans voted in favor of the council having the option of replacing its monies. Council members Jean Martin, Sam Randolph and Bennie Ruth Crenshaw opposed.

After the vote, council members went on record as to who wanted their discretionary funds replenished. Sexton, Franklin, Sewell, Tucker and Durry chose to have their funds reimbursed. Evans, Martin, Randolph and Crenshaw declined.

Discussion on the matter began when Evans suggested any council member who wanted their funds reimbursed should have the opportunity.

A vote on all council members having their funds reimbursed failed at a previous meeting.

Crenshaw said she opposed the idea, and added it would open up a Pandora’s box on several issues.

Sewell, though, said council members had requests for discretionary spending from a number of sources. &uot;We’d like to give, but our funds are depleted,&uot; Sewell said.

Durry agreed. &uot;I could use my funds,&uot; he said.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he wanted to clarify the sinking fund issue.

Discussion on reimbursing discretionary funds originally began at a previous meeting when council members &uot;discovered&uot; the sinking fund, which once reached about $500,000. At that time Perkins pointed to the January 2003 monthly statement of account balances and subsequent balance sheets as indicators the fund was never hidden.

Perkins said it was a disservice for someone to implicate he did something wrong by saving money through the sinking fund.

The vote then passed 6 – 3.

In other matters the council:

Evans said the executive session involved the good name and character of individuals within city personnel.