City council votes to extend liaison contract

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2008


A retired state trooper hired to act as a liaison between the new Selma police chief and the old one will stay on until May 4.

The Selma City Council approved in a 6-2 vote Monday night to extend the contract of Glenda Deese to help with the transition as police chiefs change.

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Voting for the extension were Council members Jean Martin of Ward 3, Dr. Geraldine Allen of Ward 4, Johnnie Leashore of Ward 6, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw of Ward 7 and Jannie Venter of Ward 8.

Council members the Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson of Ward 1 and Reid Cain of Ward 2 voted against the resolution.

Council member Sam Randolph of Ward 5 was absent because of obligations with the Alabama National Guard.

Mayor James Perkins asked for the extension because police Chief William T. Riley III has to undergo mandatory two weeks of training in the state. &8220;This will maintain continuity of leadership,&8221; the mayor said.

Riley was hired to replace Jimmy Martin, who resigned last summer, but stayed on until a replacement could be named. Riley was sworn into office as chief about two weeks ago.

Earlier this year, the city appropriated $12,500 to pay Deese $50 an hour to work about 10 hours a week to help the transition. About $5,000 of that is left, so the extension won&8217;t cost the city any more money, Perkins said.

The new resolution calls for Deese to work about 20 hours a week, which would amount to about $1,000 a week.

Williamson raised questions about Deese acting as liaison while Martin is on vacation for a month. &8220;I don&8217;t see how she can do that if one of the chiefs is gone 30 days,&8221; he said.

Perkins said the three could communicate through cell phone and other technology, if necessary. When asked by Williamson how Deese had performed her tasks so far, Perkins answered, &8220;Very careful and very professional.&8221;