Too much talk, little action

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The issue: The closer we get to election, the worse the Selma City Council gets.

Our position: Political posturing during council meetings gets old.

Elected officials in the city need to close their mouths and listen to the public.

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Every time the Selma City Council meets, it reminds us of elephants with gas: much bellowing with little production.

Take, for instance, Monday night&8217;s meeting.

Mayor James Perkins Jr.&8217;s report took more than an hour to present and get action on.

This was not Perkins&8217; fault. He presented his items succinctly, when he spoke, or he allowed a department head to present his report.

But everyone on the council had something to say about each item, either directly to the public or an aside, which can be heard over the microphones.

Then, not to be outdone, Perkins gives a parting shot because he knows he has a radio audience. Many who listen to the radio broadcasts of the council meeting are voters.

Many of the remarks given by council members do not make a difference in the attitudes of the voters. They serve to benefit the egos of the city council members.

What&8217;s more, the council had a work session last week to discuss most of the items on the agenda. Most of the bellowing should be done in those sessions.

And, quite frankly, a debate on the Civil War or the War Between the States between Johnnie Leashore and Cecil Williamson reminds us of when Nikita Khrushchev took off his right shoe in the United Nations and banged it on a desk when he disagreed with a statement that the Soviet Union had &8220;swallowed up&8221; Eastern Europe.

Leashore said there&8217;s no malice and that each person goes home thinking nice thoughts about the other.

We believe that what comes out of someone&8217;s mouth often is a result of what they think.

Words can create suffering or happiness. Speaking truthfully and constructively, using words that inspire hope and confidence brings community.

Divisions in community are created by half-truths for the sake of personal interest or to impress people.

It is interesting that little said by council members regards situations of injustice or building up the community.

Instead, the tension became so great on the council during meetings that at some points the council president had to gavel the meeting back into order.

Instead of talking a game, we&8217;d prefer to see the council working. If they can&8217;t work together, that&8217;s fine. Vote against one another.

But, please city council and mayor, please take action.

Have the courage to stand for one&8217;s beliefs without delivering a lecture on some issue that doesn&8217;t concern our business at hand.

If you want to talk about Sherman, meet at the local coffee shop. But not on city time, please.