City hall payroll is what will bankrupt Selma

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2006

To the Editor:

Ten minutes after voting to spend $43,000 to paint the inside of city hall and put new carpet throughout the building, the Crenshaw 3 voted not to spend about $35,000 to pay the utility bills for the library for April-September.

The vote to partially restore funding to the library apparently caused Ms. Crenshaw and her pal in the audience, Ms. Rose Sanders, to go ballistic toward a good and decent man, President Evans. By far, the biggest spender on the Council, Ms. Crenshaw launched into a tirade about Councilman Cain and me trying to bankrupt the city. Apparently she has forgotten the thousands of dollars she wastes traveling all over the country while more than 30 percent of the people in Selma live in poverty.

Speaking of bankrupting the city, Ms. Crenshaw also forgets the enormous pay raises she voted to give those working in City Hall.

With final approval given to the enormous pay raises for Mayor Perkins’ favorites in City Hall, Selma probably has a higher city hall payroll than most cities in the United States and in all third world countries. With a city hall payroll of over $1.3 million for those working in our local Temple of Doom, are we the citizens now to expect unexcelled excellence from city government or a bankrupt city sooner rather than later?

If I were a city employee and believed in reincarnation, I wouldn’t come back unless I could get on the gravy train in the Temple.

Consider city hall’s payroll and add 15 percent in fringe benefits to every salary.

Mayor Perkins makes $70,000 a year, his Executive Assistant makes $48,100 and his Secretary gets $25.381. City Attorney Jimmy Nunn draws $61,272 and his secretary makes $23,450. Displaced by Mr. Nunn as the second highest paid person in city hall, Planning and Community Development Director Ms. Charlotte Griffith

gets $60,000 a year.

Her Grants Coordinator makes $41,600 a year while other employees in her department make $40,374, $38,045, $35,851, $30,221, and $21,743.

Our newly-hired IT person has a salary of $55,000 while her assistant makes $30,500.

Next in line of our high priced city hall talent is City Finance Director Ms. Cynthia Mitchell who has a salary of $52,000 a year.

Her Tax Collector

gets $42,000.

Other positions in the Finance Department are paid $34,159, $33,367, $31,442, $26,769, $23,732, $22,343, $21,475 and $19.379.

With so many people with such high salaries in the Finance Department, one would think it would not take a month for citizens or council members to get information from the Department such as who charged $5,700 to the city’s credit card.

With so many people on the Finance Department payroll, one would think they could do a better job of collecting the $434,000 in delinquent garbage fees.

Following Ms. Mitchell on the salary scale is City Personnel Director Valerie Jones who makes $48,000 annually. Other salaries in her department are

$25,251, $25,070, and $22,343.

City Clerk Ms. Lois Williams is drawing $42,000 a year and the employees in her office make $31,442 and $22,343.

The low men on the city hall pay pole are a Code Enforcement Officer earning $41,204 and a Building Inspector earning $42,440.

Another person in that office makes $22,343.

If Selma goes bankrupt, it will be because of the spending habits of the Crenshaw 4.

If Mayor Perkins will not or can not control or separate himself from Ms. Crenshaw and Ms. Sanders, Selma will continue on a downward spiral. The Mayor should understand that if he permits Ms. Crenshaw and Ms. Sanders to be the public face of Selma, our city will not have a very nice appearance.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward 1