Citizens react to mayor’s address

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Dorothy Milton will turn 80 next week. Tuesday evening she was among the packed Carl Morgan Convention Center to hear Mayor James Perkins Jr., deliver his State of the City Address.

She said she liked what she heard.

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“Especially when he talked about the police… how he wanted to protect the citizens,” Milton said. “I think it was real nice.”

The address, which began shortly after 5 p.m., covered a full range of topics from public safety to economic development. Attendance lagged initially. By the midpoint of the 50-minute speech all of the seats on the floor of the convention center were taken and citizens stood in the rear.

Dr. James Mitchell, president of Wallace Community College Selma, said the mayor’s speech showed promise.

“I think it was very informative. It also shows we’re obviously making progress in this city,” Mitchell said. “We’ll continue to do so, and it takes all of us working together.”

Members of the Selma City Council sat in reserved seating up front. Council President George Evans and Council President Pro Tem Jean Martin, who at times are embroiled in political debates, showed solidarity and support through attendance.

Martin said Perkins eased a lot of uncertainty citizens may have had.

“It was a great speech,” Martin said. “I was not only impressed with his manner of delivery, but his content and his plans for the city. He spoke truth. He spoke of our future. He not only spoke, he gave plans for achieving it.”

Robert Carter, principal of Sophia P. Kingston Elementary, said he thought the mayor’s address “was uplifting and energizing.”

“Things are looking bright for Selma,” Carter said. “I was glad to hear the crime rate is going down. In a lot of places it’s going up.”