There’s no room for hypocrisy in Selma

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 23, 2007

To the Editor:

Geraldine Allen seems to be confused as to who opened the door on the Water Board salary issue. You did, Geraldine, when you voted yourself a salary. Your letter to the editor is the most contradictory and hypocritical article I have ever read. Please stop trying to manipulate and confuse people, especially our black community.

In your article, you stated that you have always been against the salaries of the Water Board. If this is the case, why did you vote in an administrative committee meeting on Jan. 4, 2006, to ask the city council to ratify, affirm and fix Mr. Hick’s (water board chairman at the time and who is white) a salary of $25,000 a year and also for him to receive an additional $324.94 per month for insurance. You voted for this! Don’t you think this was outrageous? (One of your words). In the same meeting, you voted against the motion to ratify, affirm and affix the salaries of the black Water Board members (Crenshaw, Leashore, Randolph and Goodwin). I insist that people in the community go to City Hall and request copies of this information from the administrative meeting held on Jan. 4, 2006, so they can read it for themselves, as I did.

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I can’t understand for the life of me why you would want Mr. Hicks to have his salary and vote against the others. Why did you not ask him to work for free? This is hypocrisy at its worst. I know the community is tired of hearing about this, but do you want this kind of mentality to run its course into generations of our children? That is, they must be white to be treated right. What a shame. The black community should be in outrage over such an article as the one you wrote in this newspaper. In your editorial you seemed to “dumb down” African American self worth and intelligence. The attitude of your article to me displayed the slave mentality that black leadership is not worth the pay. What a message to send to our children!

I agree with a writer to this newspaper, the wage for the white vote is on. Allen vs. Evans. At this point, Geraldine Allen is in the lead.

Now, on the issue of you voting for yourself a salary. Not one time in your very conciliatory article did you mentioned why you voted for yourself. Mrs. Brooks made a good point as the possible real reason, for money. However, if this was not the case, why not at the time you raised your hand to vote for yourself, state emphatically as you are stating now, that you would serve on the Water Board for free. You came a week later, after much criticism, ridicule, the revealing article by Mrs. Brooks and a possible violation of the ethics laws helped in your decision to announce to the public that you would serve for free. How misleading and hypocritical can a person be? I personally feel that it was never your intention to serve for free. I am hoping that the community would ignore your request to ask the black board members to serve free because you backed yourself into a corner, when previous white and majority white Water Board members served with pay. How could you find yourself as a black woman promoting such a double standard as this?

One last point. What makes you think you should replace Sam Randolph on the Water Board? Is it your PhD? What sacrifices have you made for this community? Why not consider working for the City Council for free? Maybe you would do more working for free for the Water Board than you getting paid for not doing in Ward 4.

Shoshana Thomas