Owens ‘Dixon’ confident she can do job

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 12, 2004

Felicia Owens “Dixon” is ready to sit on the City Council for Ward 3.

She’s confident that she’s got what it takes to serve as “a voice for the ward.”

Owens “Dixon” is running in the Sept. 14 runoff election against Jean Martin, the incumbent, for the seat.

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And, she’s got a lot of changes planned for the area and for the city council.

“Ward 3 has been on the decline for the last 10 to 15 years,” she said.

If elected, Owens “Dixon” says she’s going to be accessible, accountable and open with everything she does on the council.

“I’m going to publish a monthly news letter that’s going to go out, letting (my constituents) know the issues that came up, how I voted, why I voted,” she said.

Owens “Dixon” feels that the position as council member should be reflective of what the constituents want.

“When I deal with sensitive issues,” she said, “I’m going to try and meet with most of the citizens and see how they think I should vote on it.”

One of the things she’s already decided on is a curfew for Selma’s youth.

“It is known that when you implement a curfew that crime reduces 40 to 60 percent,” Owens “Dixon” said. “They (critics of a curfew) say its very expensive.”

Owens “Dixon” feels that crime is a major problem and more should be done to combat it.

She feels the problem can be addressed by recruiting industries and bringing more jobs to the Selma area.

“There’s so many little things the council can do,” Owens “Dixon” said.

Owens Dixon said that she can’t be sure of what can be done until the city’s finances are in order.

“It’s hard to know what you’re working with,” she said.

City finances are one of the reasons Owens “Dixon” feels she can’t support appointment powers for the mayor.

“First of all I feel like appt powers shouldn’t be a big issue based on everything that’s going on in Selma,” she said. “I don’t know where he’s (Mayor James Perkins Jr.) at w/ the fin. Report but I know something’s not right about it.”

Owen “Dixon” feels that nothing should be changed until the city’s financial situation is fixed.

“If that’s (the city’s finances) not being done in an orderly or proper manner why should you give him more powers?” she said. She pointed to her 15-old-month daughter.

“It’s almost like giving this child a .357 and she’s about to shoot it,” Owens “Dixon” said.

Other issues effecting the council are also big on Owens “Dixon”‘s mind.

The council has recently debated increasing the range of the city’s non-smoking ordinance.

“My personal issue on that is I think it would be a good idea to (increase the ordinance’s range),” she said.

Owens “Dixon” said that as a non-smoker and the mother of a small child, she understands why the ordinance should be enforced better, but she’s uncomfortable with pushing it on the citizens of the area.

“Three out of four people smoke in this area,” she said. “I don’t really want to tamper around with that too much.”

She also said that the ordinance might interfere with the businesses of some of the residents of Ward 3.

Owens “Dixon” said she is committed to representing the ward well and wants to improve the appearance of the ward as much as possible.

“I would like to see more street lights, more beautification of the ward,” she said. “(Ward 3) used to be one of the nicest attractions that you could ever lay your eyes on. Now it’s an eyesore.”

Owens “Dixon” said she wanted to apply for grant money through the city council and use it to fund beautification and renewal efforts.

“We need to be making improvements to get it to another point,” she said.

Owens “Dixon” is ready and she feels she is able to work for Ward 3 on the city council.

She cites her education – a bachelor’s in business and a master’s in business management – and the fact that she runs a business locally as proof of her capabilities.

“All of us spend money here in Selma, all of us spend taxes here in Selma,” she said. “I don’t think a (select) group of people should have the power for all of Selma.”