Council names John Smith services manager

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Selma has a new General Services superintendent.

In a 5-to-4 vote at its Monday meeting, the Selma City Council appointed John Smith as the new head of General Services. Smith currently serves as a supervisor for the department, which is responsible for collecting residents’ garbage. His effective start date is today.

Council members Glenn Sexton, Rita Sims Franklin, Nancy Sewell, James Durry and B.L. Tucker voted for Smith. Council members Jean Martin, Sam Randolph, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Council President George Evans voted for Henry Hicks, the city’s code enforcement officer.

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Hicks has served as acting superintendent of General Services since September.

The council’s vote came after interviewing three applicants, Freddie Holmes, Hicks and Smith, for the position before its meeting. Near the end of its Monday night meeting, Evans brought the issue before the council.

Sewell and Franklin, though, urged action on the matter. &uot;The city code gives us responsibility of filling the position,&uot; Franklin said. &uot;We need to do that and fill the position on a permanent basis.&uot;

Evans said he wanted to have a chance to discuss the issue further before voting. &uot;Do you want to put someone in harm’s way and not even discuss the consequences that could happen?&uot; he asked. &uot;The question is, what is best for Selma? I have some views I’d like to put on the table.&uot;

Crenshaw, however, said she thought council members already had chosen who they would vote for.

Sexton then motioned for a vote, which was seconded by Franklin. It passed 5 to 4.

A 6-to-1 vote to set Smith’s salary at $37,500 passed shortly afterward. Sewell originally said it should be $33,500, but after hearing from Personnel Director Valeria Jones she motioned that the sum be higher.

According to Jones, former General Services superintendent Marcus Hopkins earned $37,500 as interim superintendent, though that was raised to about $40,000 when he became superintendent.

In other matters the council:

Heard from Evans about the number of noise violations given by the Selma Police Department. According to Evans, 24 citations have been given since March 11. Only 10 citations were given during 2003. &uot;We applaud these officers for alleviating the noise problem,&uot; Evans said. &uot;They’re on top of it.&uot;

Heard from Mayor James Perkins Jr. about an alternative to banning basketball from city streets. Durry proposed building five enclosed basketball courts at a cost of $80,000 each, though he said they would have to be constructed over a period of years because of cost.

Heard from Selma-Dallas County Library Director Becky Nichols about the library’s 100th anniversary. A series of events will occur during National Library Week in April as well as on June 22, the official celebration.