Voters will cast ballots in bond issue election

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Registered voters here will have the opportunity to decide a $12.3 million bond issue in February.

The Selma City Council voted 5-4 to allow the vote, which came after several people pleaded for the opportunity to cast ballots on the issue during a public hearing.

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Voting to allow a Feb. 26 election on the bond issue were council members Samuel Randolph of Ward 5, Johnnie Leashore of Ward 6, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw of Ward 7 and Jannie M. Venter of Ward 8 and Dr. Geraldine Allen.

Voting against the election were council members Cecil Williamson of Ward 1, Reid Cain of Ward 2 and Jean Martin of Ward 3.

Council President George Evans also voted yes.

Some council members wanted some clarification about how much the bond issue would ultimately cost and what projects would be included.

Debra Henderson, who spoke during the citizen’s request session, said Selma is known all over the world. It needs the bond issue to lift up the city. She pointed to family gathering places, such as Bloch Park and Memorial Stadium.

“We cannot invite the country to see us if we cannot keep up,” she told the board.

For the most part, council members listened quietly until Robert Davis made his impassioned plea to allow people to vote on the bond issue. A squabble emerged after Davis talked about streets that needed paving and a drainage system that need improving to keep people from wading in rainwater after a downpour to get from their cars to their houses.

Cain pointed out that improvements to streets and drainage improvements weren’t on the list of bond issue items. Evans called him down, and Cain received a few catcalls from the crowd.

Later, Mayor James Perkins explained $250,000 of the $1.752 million earmarked for public works would be spent for equipment for street pavement, gutter, sidewalks and curbs.

Money for the materials would come from gas tax revenue and city workers would provide labor.