Mayor: ‘Just check yes’ on tax renewal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Selma Times Journal

A mass meeting on education was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church Tuesday evening to support the renewal of Selma City Schools’ 7.4 mills tax – up for election April 25.

Superintendent Dr. James Carter said the tax generates approximately $1.4 million annually for the school system.

Carter stressed the 7.4-mills tax is not a new tax. The tax was introduced in 1954 and must be renewed every 30 years. Schools stand to lose their funding to maintain special programs and operations if the tax is not renewed.

Carter’s ultimate goal is to make Selma City Schools a world-class school system. He said that goal could only be achieved if people vote.

“We are not in the business of having a good education for our boys and girls. We want an excellent education for our boys and girls,” Carter said. Applause from the small crowd followed.

“(The tax) is not about politics. It’s not about personalities. “It’s about our children.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. urged citizens to “just check the yes” come April 25. Perkins said the programs Selma City Schools have launched over the years are the envy of the nation – Selma education has come too far to take a step back.

“It would be a shame to allow efforts to derail because of apathy,” Perkins said.

The Rev. Rodney Morton, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, said Tuesday’s mass meeting is the beginning of an effort to motivate residents to go to the polls. A second mass meeting will be held Thursday, April 20 in hopes of a higher citizen turnout.

Morton said residents should not assume the tax will be renewed.

“We cannot take this vote lightly,” Morton said.