Allen’s view of water board situation

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 12, 2007

To the Editor:

Since the door has been opened by Mrs. Brooks concerning the Water Board, I will give my side of the Water Board Story.

Firstly, it should be noted that the Water Board appointments have been an issue with me since my conception on this council.

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I have always been against the salaries of the water board because I felt it was important that the “actual” salary amount made by the board should reflect the $350 amount passed by the council years ago for its members.

I still remain committed to this belief.

The Water Board appointment has become a position that is wanted not for its business importance but because it has become a supplement salary for our council members.

I would like to commend Mrs. Brooks on her comments concerning whether I would not take a salary if I am elected.

I challenge Mrs. Brooks and all the constituents of this city to encourage the members of this City Council to not take a salary such as $25,000 (Mr. Leashore, as chairman) and $19,600 (Mrs. Crenshaw, treasurer) and work “free” of charge for the Water Board.

I will certainly be willing to do so.

Receiving such outrageous salaries were wrong before, what makes it right now?

Until that time, I publicly voice that I will not take more than $350 if I am ever placed on the board. I will request this from the council and the board. I do feel that as council, we are already being paid for our service to this City and giving “free” representation would only be the rightful action to do. Let’s give the money back to the people who work there on a daily basis.

Secondly, if you review the history of the Water Board, a council member has never been elected as chairman or treasurer.

Mainly because, as council members, we are on terms and if we are not re-elected then an immediate vacancy would be created on the board.

Our citizens of Selma on the board should hold these appointments. Should the council have the full control of the Board with three members? Why not allow the people to have three positions and the council two. Representation by those who elected us is important. I hope the council will agree to put only two council members on this board in the future.

Finally, I believe that there should be a rotation of council members on this board.

It should not be that only a certain group of council members or certain council members should be privileged to be on this and other boards.

It is a wonder to me that a council member can be threatened with not having a group to support her next campaign if she votes for a council member that others don’t want to see on the board. In our last council meeting, Mrs. Jean Martin voted for me to be on the board, however, she was approached by another council member and others who approached her to rescind her vote or face the consequences of not being supported in the next election.

It is important for council members to remember that we do not represent ourselves but the “people” who voted us in.

I do believe that if we represent our constituents then the election process will take care of itself. To give in to threats and intimidation will only begin a cycle for those asking you to do the same over and over again on each controversial issue that

may develop.

Whether I am on the Water Board or not, I will stay committed to the above stated beliefs.

My husband often reminds me that no one can order my steps but God. I am strong and I will continue to stand for I do believe that in all my ways if I just continue to acknowledge God that He will direct my path. I acknowledge Him as my Savior and Lord. I trust in the Lord and will lean not to my own understanding.

Dr. Geraldine Allen

Selma City Council