Council hears mayors expenditure proposal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Three committees of the Selma City Council will determine more than $1 million in expenditures proposed by Mayor James Perkins Jr.

Council President George Evans sent the three resolutions to the respective committees Monday night. The committees will study the requests, discuss them with the mayor and relevant department head and come back with a recommendation.

Email newsletter signup

The three resolutions cover items that were included in the failed $12.3 million bond issue. The money for the purchases will come from cash reserves and other sources, according to the resolutions.

Perkins was not at the meeting. He was in Washington at a summit against illegal guns.

Council member Johnnie Leashore of Ward 6 called Evans&8217; action unprecedented and objected.

One resolution calls for $250,000 from the State Gasoline Excise Tax Fund to purchase equipment for street pavement, gutters, sidewalks and curbing for the public works department.

Council member Cecil Williamson raised objections to the proposal last Thursday after Perkins presented the resolutions to some members of the council who attended a work session.

Williamson of Ward 1 wanted to see a list of streets before he voted for the proposal. &8220;Who selects the streets? What streets are under consideration,&8221; the council member asked.

The council does not have a list of streets designated for work by the equipment that the city would purchase with the money, if approved.

The same $250,000 request was placed into the public works part of the bond issue that voters rejected overwhelming earlier this year.

Another resolution called for $742,077 in additional budget needs for the Selma Police Department. The money would come from the unrestricted cash from the general fund account, which is generally used by cities during emergencies.

Among the items on a spreadsheet that accompanied the resolution: training courses totaling $63,907. Currently, the spreadsheet shows $1,943.28 in the police department account, meaning the city would have to pay out $61,963.72.

Some of the training sessions include crime scene evidence handling ($27,000); school violence ($845); internal affairs, managing citizens complaints and employee discipline ($700); and 10 courses ranging from advance narcotic investigation to middle management training at $2,105 each.

Equipment needs for the police department total $42,451.80. That particular department has a $15,498 balance, meaning equipment would take up $26,952.97 of the total $742,077.

Equipment listed on the spreadsheet calls for cages for the K-9 units, 15 handheld radios, 60 fire extinguishers, 21 desktop computers without monitors and matching money for a technology grant.

Under the heading, fixed assets, the police department seeks four police cruisers, totaling $100,000; four vehicles for detectives ($94,000); two SUVs for K-9 units ($46,000); an electronic fingerprinting device ($24,658); software for computing from units to the base ($219,450); a dot matrix printer ($4,500) and either fiber optic or wireless network connectivity ($5,000).

Fuel for 50 vehicles is expected to cost $121,754.09 through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.

A suggested $10,299 is requested for building roof and repairs and a structure analysis on the police station and annexes.

Police Chief William T. Riley III, who attended the meeting, said he is aware of the request, and that it fits in with what he sees the department needs. Riley has been on the job about a month.

The failed bond issue had not included any vehicles or training for police officers, basic repairs totaling $134,925 and 10 air conditioner units for the Cecil Jackson Public Safety Building, where the police department is housed.

The third resolution called for $355,850 to upgrade the city&8217;s financial software from the city&8217;s unrestricted fund balance. The software would come from New World Systems.

The dollar amounts for the software is based on pricing submitted for consideration for the bond issue, according to e-mails traded between Bruce Williams, the city&8217;s technology director, and Chuck Childress, a representative of New World Systems.

Those e-mails were attached to the resolution. They were dated Nov. 27, 2007.