Mayor wants councilmen banned

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. might seek a restraining order to keep two city council members out of City Hall, unless there is a meeting.

Perkins released a copy of a memo Tuesday that he had written last week to the Selma City Council. In the memo, the mayor chastised Council members Cecil Williamson of Ward 1 and Reid Cain of Ward 2 for harassing and intimidating city employees.

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The memo also takes Council President George Evans to task for not controlling the pair.

Williamson said he had yet to read the memo dated March 6.

In the document, Perkins said city employees had complained about the behavior of Williamson and Cain.

Perkins cited a recent incident between Cain and City Clerk Lois Williams after Williams read a statement defending her performance overseeing the bond issue election at an open meeting of the city council.

During the meeting, Cain asked Williams for a copy of the statement. Later, when he went to pick it up from her, she declined to give him a copy.

She also declined to give a copy of the statement to a reporter for The Times-Journal, saying she was acting on the advice of someone else.

Perkins said in his statement that Williams did not prepare &8220;her written statement for public release, and no one had the right to demand a copy or try to pressure her to give them a copy.&8221;

Cain had not seen the memo Tuesday evening. &8220;The mayor thinks it&8217;s harassment when I ask a question at a council meeting, and it&8217;s harassment when I ask a police officer&8217;s name.&8221;

Perkins also called on Evans to discipline the two city council members. &8220;If Mr. Evans continues to defend these men and their rude behavior and does manage them through city council authority, then I will have no choice but to use the power of the office of mayor and the law to deal with them myself.&8221;

Evans has announced he is seeking the office of mayor this summer. Perkins has yet to make a formal announcement, but opened a temporary campaign office on Water Avenue last weekend.

Evans is attending the National League of Cities conference in Washington, D.C. and could not be reached for comment.