City honors Driggers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Selma City Council, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Craig Field Industrial Authority, The Alabama Historical Commission, Judge John Jones, The National Parks Service and Governor Bob Riley all lined up to honor one Selma woman.

“If they don’t watch out, I’m going to feel really big,” Elizabeth Driggers said.

Driggers, head of the Selma Office of Planning and Development, was honored at last night’s Selma City Council meeting.

Driggers retired last week, and already she said she’s trying to get back to work.

Mayor James Perkins, commenting on the accolades she’d received during the night, told her, “I can’t believe you’re still dry,” referring to her eyes.

She said she didn’t have time to get teared up.

“My mind is still churning on what’s left to be done,” Driggers said. “I want to work until the day I die.”

Jones spoke for the entire state when he gave her a proclamation naming Monday Elizabeth Driggers Day.

“I love you, I’ll miss you, I wish you the best,” he said.

Council President George Evans, speaking on behalf of the council, said Driggers was an important part of Selma.

“She has certainly been a pillar of the community,” she said.

During Driggers’ 35-year career, she’s secured funding for the St. James Hotel, the National Voting Rights Trail, the waterfront renewal project, City Hall, the Selma Dallas County Public Library and the Good Samaritan Hospital.

According to the Alabama Historical Commission head, Elizabeth Brown, Selma’s historic sites and preservation program is equaled only by Mobile, a city five times as large with a staff five times the size of Selma’s.

“I had good people to work with,” Driggers said.

Driggers spoke at the end, and got a standing ovation from the crowd at the meeting.

Her eyes glistened as her family came around to congratulate her with hugs and kisses.

“The only thing I want to say is Selma’s wonderful,” she said.