Much ado about city ballyhoo

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The issue: Selma City officials cannot seem to hold a meeting without breaking into mud slinging contests.

Our position: The infighting has to stop.

During Tuesday&8217;s special Selma City Council meeting, we thought we would get through the day without having to sit through at least 30 minutes of council members throwing invectives at one another.

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From the statement read by Selma City Clerk Lois Williams, the mud-slinging began when Council member the Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson guested on a local radio talk program.

Williams said he bashed her, saying she was incompetent to manage an election. This embarrassed her, the city clerk said.

Williamson kept his mouth shut during most of the ordeal.

Williams&8217; statement was tastefully and professionally given. Williamson did not interrupt her or fly into a fit of temper.

For once, it seemed, the city council might wind up a meeting without falling apart in a war of words.

But Council member Johnnie Leashore of Ward 6 latched onto the assertion that Williamson said he had five votes on the council to rid Williams of her election manager duties. And, like a terrier, he shook that piece of information to death.

Leashore wanted a vote of confidence for Williams to out the five votes Williams said Williamson said he had.

Then, Council member Bennie Ruth Crenshaw of Ward 7 weighed in on top of Leashore, saying she thought a vote of confidence was not needed.

We agree with Crenshaw, and believe the whole conversation could have stopped at this point, but it did not.

The end result: a meeting ended with acrimony and the meeting continued too long.

It would seem that the city council could conduct its meetings in a civil manner. Even if members of the council disagree, let it be in an agreeable fashion.