The past is past it’s time to move on

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 11, 2003

On Thursday a federal judge dismissed three state claims and one federal claim against the City of Selma concerning a monument to Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The lawsuit, filed by the Friends of Forrest more than two years ago, has cost both sides greatly. The recent dismissals by U.S. Senior District Judge Brevard Hand are not just needed, they are welcome.

The suit caused unneeded contention in city government and among Selmians. It caused emotions to run high. It cost everyone money.

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Fourth Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jospeh Fitzpatrick summed it up best. &uot;At this point, I think a dismissal is a good thing for the city and the taxpayers,&uot; Fitzpatrick said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Selma has more important issues to contend with, such as jobs. Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw brought that point up at a Friday press conference held in council chambers.

After more than two years of litigation, it’s more than past time to move our attention to the serious issue of bringing jobs to Selma and Dallas County. Industry and opportunities are what our community need, not conflict, and not ongoing lawsuits.

Valerie Chittom, attorney representing Selma during the suit, said the federal claim could be filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The three state claims could be filed in state court in Dallas County.

Friends of Forrest spokesman Benjamin Austin said it was too premature to rule out any action at this point.

We, however, hope for the good of our community that these claims are not filed in their respective courts. This issue has already dragged on for too long; it’s time for all of us to move on.

The past is past. Let’s look toward a future of community, of bringing industry to our area, of an end to conflict.

We can do these things &045;&045; together.