Council discusses budget

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Selma’s mayor urged the city council to keep budget proceedings under wraps at Monday’s council meeting.

Mayor James Perkins asked the council to not mention potential cuts in the city’s budget to at-risk agencies until the decisions were final. He said several people had called his office regarding the issue.

“I want to just state publically, the council and the mayor are working through this process,” he said. “We agreed we were going to work through the details and we are not going to go out and start little fires.”

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The mayor was referring to potential cuts in certain city agencies, although he didn’t say which ones. The city is trying to avoid layoffs and cuts in services, although reports from the council’s standing committees indicated the city was trying to find places to cut as much as possible in order to balance the budget. The mayor said the city also hoped to work out what he called a more “equitable” arrangement with the Dallas County Commission regarding shared expenses. Certain agencies, like the Selma-Dallas County Library and the Central Alabama Animal Shelter are funded by both bodies.

“The library is one of the biggest,” Perkins said.

Perkins said the city covers over two-thirds of the library’s operating cost. The city is expected to put together a committee to approach representatives of the commission and discuss the matter. He said the county’s balanced budget was at least partly because of the city’s disproportionate coverage of services.

“We can’t continue to subsidize the county’s budget,” Perkins said.

In other news, the council considered ordinances for a curfew and discussed the noise ordinance.

Councilwoman Jannie Venter said she’d received a letter from a citizen concerned about the noise in her neighbor. The letter described a situation in which the citizen, unidentified by Venter, called in a complaint about the party. According to Venter, the woman said that a police officer told her she should try and get along with her neighbors, who were reportedly having a loud party. “I don’t think an officer should have told him that,” Venter said. “I think something should be done about this noise.”