Tower case a ‘costly mistake’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2006

To the Editor:

I attempted to have the City Council vote on whether or not the City of Selma should appeal the court decision in favor of the County over the Tower; however, Council President George Evans ruled my motion out of order, would not let the Council vote on the matter, and said the matter had been decided.

It was apparent from the secret session that the Council had just had that only Councilman Cain and I were against the City appealing the Court’s decision.

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It is a costly mistake for city taxpayers for the City to appeal this decision to the Alabama Supreme Court.

This decision is costing city taxpayers twice.

Not only are city taxpayers having to pay for the city’s appeal, we also are county taxpayers having to pay the costs for the county to defend the suit and the appeal.

Before this appeal is over, legal costs will exceed $100,000 for both parties.

Not only is the decision costing city taxpayers double, it is endangering the lives of the citizens of Selma.

Because of an inadequate communication’s tower and system, Selma police officers can not communicate with headquarters or with one another from some areas of this city.

With the new state of the art communications tower, if the city would utilize it, not only could our policemen communicate with one another, they could communicate directly with every law enforcement and emergency agency in this area.

Rather than being concerned with public safety and costs to citizens, the city administration is more interested in social engineering then it is in public safety.

For example, compare the extravagant costs of housing the mayor’s TrustBuild office and the dilapidated condition of the Selma Police Department building.

TrustBuild’s plush offices are next door to the Public Safety Building, which is contaminated with mold, has a leaking roof, peeling paint, horrible odors, disabled elevators, and endangers the health and life of all police personnel who have to work there.

One of the reasons I think we need a new Police Chief is not because the present Chief is a bad person, but because he does not stand up for his personnel.

The lavish $268,000 Trust Build program for 5 months this fiscal year includes $25,000 for Office Furniture, $35,988 for miscellaneous expense, whatever that is, and more than $11,000 for computers, printers, supplies.

By contrast, the entire budget for the Police Department includes only $15,000 for repairs and maintenance.

The social engineering TrustBuild program for the next fiscal year will cost $570,00.

Trust Build has hired at $23,400 each six (6) Community liaisons: Debra Caldwell, Teresa Carter, Dennis Rutledge, Dorothy Hawkins, Derret Moore and Gloria Simmons.

When the Job was posted, it contained this sentence: “Credentials and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree is Social Work… preferred”

I understand that not one of these people has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I affectionately refer to them as Mayor Perkins’ reelection campaign workers paid for by city taxpayers.

When the Mayor and TrustBuild have their breakfast for community agencies next Wednesday and community leaders tour the wonderfully furnished TrustBuild offices with new carpet, furniture, computers, desks, and work stations

in the Wilson Building, please tour the Police Department Building, where much of the police building is closed off due to contamination.

However, if you want to tour the office of the Traffic Division, which was closed off months ago

due to toxic mold, you will have to find the patrol car which now serves as the office for the Police Traffic Division.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward 1