Debate of issues good for Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 10, 2006

To the Editor:

Last month I wrote a letter to the editor giving my opinion that the requirements for Alabama probate judges should be strengthened. I didn’t think my letter would stir much debate but, surprisingly, I got a couple of responses from Kevin Ross and Miriam P. Wells … who happened to be the wife of one of the candidates running for the Dallas County probate seat that will be left vacant upon current judge Johnny Jones’ much anticipated retirement.

I thought that one of the requirements for any prospective candidate for probate judge should be a law degree. Mr.Ross begged to differ stating that one should “vote for the person and not their pedigree.” I agree with Mr. Ross. We live in a democracy, not a meritocracy, and any civic minded individual should be able to run for public office.

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Mrs.Wells thought that what the citizens of Selma and Dallas County needed was not another lawyer in the probate judge’s office but a leader that can communicate effectively, make highly sensitive decisions, and cross boundaries.

I agree wholeheartedly! Selma does indeed have more than its share of lawyers and, from what I’ve experienced in recent dealings with Judge Jones, we’re in desperate need of leadership in this office. I just think that a candidate would be better equipped, along with the qualities of common sense and fairness I might add, to make those highly sensitive decisions with a law degree.

Constructive debate of the issues is a good thing, especially for Selma where there seems to be a lot of deconstructive debate of them going on, and I’ll keep Mr. Ross’ and Mrs. Wells’ comments in mind when I cast my vote in this very important race come November.

Terry Lewis