Council votes against purchase

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 23, 2006

Concerns voiced against $1M proposal

BY Victor Inge


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A local evangelist showed her love of people by spreading it during Monday’s meeting of the Selma City Council, giving out balloons with smiling faces and gift bags, but there wasn’t enough love in the room to get the mayor’s proposed $1 million land deal passed.

Council members voted 5-4 killing Mayor James Perkins Jr.’s plan to purchase an 111 acre site &045; for the time being. Council members said they were skeptical of where the money would come from to service the debt, and the public’s lack of input.

Council President George Evans was the first to vote against the land purchase in the roll call vote. Evans was followed by Council members Cecil Williamson, Reid Cain, Dr. Geraldine Allen and Jean Martin, who all voted against the purchase. Council members Sam Randolph, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, Jannie Venter and Johnnie Leashore voted in favor of the purchase.

Evans said there was not enough information available to make a decision on such a significant purchase. Leashore motioned to make the purchase, which was seconded by Randolph.

Perkins said he felt the council was stalling. &8220;I respectfully disagree,&8221; Perkins said. &8220;I’m disappointed at the vote. Hopefully, we can come back at some point and get this done.&8221;

Cain said there were &8220;some infrastructure issues&8221; such as sewer and drainage problems that could be dealt with that are less than $1 million.

At the outset of the meeting evangelist Jessie LeSure of Love Everybody Help Outreach Ministry, invited everyone to her 53rd birthday party, set for the second Sunday of November at the Selma Convention Center. She spoke of love.

In other business, council members:

recognized Alice Wooten of the Selma Police Department, awarding her a service pin and certificate for 10 years of service.

heard a request from former councilwoman Nancy Sewell, who made a request for continued support of the Reading is Fundamental program.

heard a request from Carolyn Bates of the Selma Disability Advocacy Program, seeking assistance with raising $25,000 to be used as portion of a cash match for a grant proposal.

received bags of Hershey’s kisses from Nancy Travis of SABRA Sanctuary, who thanked city officials for the $1,000 allocation to her organization, which housed 89 persons in the domestic abuse shelter this year.

heard a request from Bishop Robert Pettus Sr., of Macedonia Community Development Corporation, who made a financial request for assistance with their after-school tutorial program.

heard a proposal from Joe Bumbrey of Personnel Unlimited, who said he would volunteer to teach diversity training. He only asked, if utilized, the city would copy the manual used in the training. His services would be free of charge.