City officials gear up for race in Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 25, 2004

Get ready to run – for city office.

Though there are several positions up for grabs in the 2004 elections, candidates for the city’s mayor and council, though, don’t have to suit up quite yet. According to City Clerk Lois Williams, candidates can’t qualify for office until July 6. The last day to qualify will be July 20.

“After 5 p.m. on July 20, no forms will be taken for candidacy,” Williams said.

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The City of Selma Mayor’s Office, City Council President and city council seats will be up for election this year.

The process of qualifying for city office isn’t lengthy, though portions of it are subject to change. Williams emphasized that the League of Municipalities provided the qualifying information to her office.

For those interested in running, currently, the mayor’s salary is $70,000. The mayor’s duties include the day-to-day administration of the city. The council president’s salary is $20,000. Duties include presiding over council meetings. Council members’ salaries are $14,499.96. Duties include voting on ordinances and serving on various committees.

It’s possible the City Council could change its salaries and the mayor’s before election day rolls around.

Things not subject to change include age and residency requirements. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and have lived in Selma for at least 90 days before the election. They also can’t have a disability of idiocy, insanity or be convicted of a felony. All candidates must be registered Alabama voters.

Williams will have a qualifying information packet ready for office-seekers on July 6. It will contain several forms, but Williams pointed to the statement of economic interest, the Alabama Fair Campaign Practice Act candidate filing guide, the candidate summary of contributions and expenditures and the statement of candidacy as items to examine.

The statement of candidacy has the candidate’s name and requires that all eligibilty rules have been met.

The statement, along with the qualifying fee, is given to Williams.

Qualifying fees for council members and council president is $35. The fee for the mayor’s office is $50.

The candidate must list revenue sources and debts owed as well as personal information on the statement of economic interest. Since Williams must get the form to the Alabama Ethics Commission within five days of submission, she requests that all candidates complete the form and give it to her when they pay their qualification fee.

The candidate summary of contributions and expenditures lists contributions and in-kind services such as transportation and food that candidates have received. It must be delivered to Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones Jr. within 45 days and five to 10 days before the Aug. 24 election.

The Alabama Fair Campaign Practice Act candidate filing guide is an informational sheet for the candidate’s use.

All other forms pertain to a candidate’s campaign committee. “Once I give the packet to them, it’s up to them to them to provide the information to their committee chairpersons,” Williams said.

The August election could be followed by a run-off in September. Regardless, candidates take office Oct. 4.

Potential candidates can reach Williams’ office on the first floor of City Hall at 874-2103.