Officials give last bond pitch

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 24, 2008


Both sides of the $12.3 million bond issue for the city are making their final pitches to get voters to go their way.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. has visited nearly every civic and service club in the city and many churches to talk about the needs the city has. At least two members of the Selma City Council, Cecil Williamson and Reid Cain have come out against the bond issue.

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Voters go to the polls to vote on Tuesday. The voting places will be different from those that they went to during the presidential primary.

The Selma Times-Journal could not give its readers a list of the city polling places or poll workers because City Clerk Lois Williams&8217; office wouldn&8217;t release the information.

The city clerk&8217;s office told a reporter for the newspaper she would have to fill out a &8220;request for information&8221; sheet and return on Monday to receive the lists requested early Friday.

Members of the city council approved their list of poll workers on Monday during a special meeting.

Perkins presided over a special hearing last week

the last held before the bond issue

to explain the city&8217;s needs. He, bond experts and city department heads answered questions and talked about the bond issue for more than an hour.

He pointed to the categories and projects under the categories as affecting each demographic in the city &8212; intentionally so. &8220;It&8217;s more fair for an individual to take a look at this bond issue as all for one and one for all,&8221; he said.

But Williamson and Cain believe the city shouldn&8217;t sink into debt when the bond market is uncertain and the items are not as specific as they should be.

Williamson has raised the issue of how the city will handle emergencies if its debt is so near the legal limit.

By the time interest and fees are added to the bond issue&8217;s original amount, it will push the city near it&8217;s legal limit for debt.

Cain believes the bond issue should be more specific. As chairman of the recreation committee, Cain said he asked for a meeting with Perkins and the head of the city Recreation Department to talk about specific repairs at Memorial Stadium. The two men did not meet with him, Cain said.

Unlike Cain and Williamson, Councilman Johnnie Leashore has been adamant in his support for the bond issue. He would not attend the hearing last week because he&8217;d heard enough.