What is city’s policy?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2006

To the Editor:

Last week I discovered

two additional services provided to the citizens of Selma by city government (1) filling private swimming pools and (2) renting city equipment to private property owners.

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A resident called to inform me that the private swimming pool at the Henderson House was being filled from a fire hydrant by a city fire truck and three on duty firemen.

I called Mayor Perkins to inquire about this use of city property to fill private pools. The mayor replied that he knew nothing about the pool being filled, but would find out and call me back.

To his credit, the Mayor called me back within 30 minutes. He told me that the request to fill the pool had been made to the Selma Waters Works, that the Water Works did not have the equipment to fill the pool, so the Water Works contacted the Selma Fire Department to fill the pool.

The mayor also said that the water used would be metered and paid for by the individual pool owner and that the city and Water Works settled up at the end of the fiscal year as to which owed what to the other.

The moral of this story is that if you want your private swimming pool filled, call a request in to the Water Works because since they did this on private property for one private individual, their policy must be to do the same for any citizen.

Another citizen called to tell me that a city dumpster was parked in the alley behind the 100 block of Broad Street and that city workers were loading it up with debris from a building recently purchased by the city attorney.

I called my friend, the city attorney, to inquire about this and was told, what I thought was city policy, that the city will rent out equipment such as dumpsters to people to put debris in.

The city will then carry it off once it is filled. The city attorney told me he had a contract with the city to pay for this service.

He also told me that no city workers were being used on the project.

I believe him because even though the city does rent its equipment to private individuals, I do not believe we have yet instituted a Rent A City Worker Program.

However, the way we on the city council freely spend money, we may soon have to

begin a Rent a City Worker Program to finance city government.

The only problem with the city instituting a Rent A Worker program would be that we would hire a director for the program for $55,000 who would have to have a $30,000 secretary plus all new furniture, computers, printers and every other expensive convenience known to modern man.

I do not believe we could ever made a Rent A City Worker program break even,

even if we rented out all 400 city employees, the mayor and all of us on the city council.

The moral of this story is that if you are repairing or constructing a building, you can, like the city attorney and others have done, rent city equipment through a contract.

One thing can be said for our city government, we aim to provide services to all of our citizens equally.

Cecil Williamson


Ward 1