Stop antics at meetings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

Once again Monday night the Selma City Council meeting turned into a spectacle with adults treating one another in a way in which you wouldn’t allow your children to behave.

The council chambers were filled with members of the Selma Police Department, who came to voice their opposition to Councilmembers Reid Cain and Cecil Williamson – both members of the city’s public safety committee – who published letters to the editor thanking federal authorities for helping bring down 12 suspected drug dealers on St. Phillips Street.

At least some of the police officers indicated by their presence at the meeting that they felt the letters were “a slap in the face.”

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It’s hard to say what they really think – because the mayor spoke on their behalf, saying he planned to ask Council President George Evans to make new public safety committee assignments.

Cain said he was only stating what had been previously published, which was that local authorities asked for outside help from federal agencies. For his part, Williamson used the opportunity to call for the resignation of Chief Jimmy Martin, which he said “would cure the morale problems in the Selma Police Department.”

Despite this controversy, it was not these actions that made the meeting a disappointment to residents of the city.

It was the attitude that was displayed, the lack of respect among some of the other councilmembers, and the continued inability of the council to get much accomplished.

It is time to bring a stop to the grandstanding, political posturing, name calling, finger pointing and other antics that have made up Selma City Council meetings for so long.

Citizens elect their representatives in order for them to take care of the city’s business. However, only a small amount of time at each council meeting is dedicated to taking action on issues.

Let’s drop the antics and get down to the people’s business.