Some walk away with summer work

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2008

The Selma times-journal

Every time Ward 6 Councilman Johnnie Leashore reached into the blue bucket in front of him to pull a name,

Mark Brooks leaned forward.

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One … two … three… four… five … six … seven … eight.

The 17-year-old junior from Selma High School didn&8217;t hear his name called.

Brooks was one of 349 young people in Selma who filled out an application for one of 82 city summer jobs.

The applicants gathered in City Hall on Thursday to see who would get to work for minimum wage.

The jobs range from clerical work to hard labor &8212; painting or landscaping.

This year the city offered fewer jobs to raise wages to $5.85 an hour, said Mayor James Perkins Jr.

Each job costs about $605.

Leashore and Council members Jean Martin, Jannie Venter and Bennie Ruth Crenshaw joined Council President George Evans and the mayor for the drawing.

Parents of some of the applicants sat in for the missing council members.

Evans thanked the parents for being part of the process.

The youths will work 16 hours a week for six weeks. They will receive bi-weekly pay.

The program

begins June 2 and ends July 11.

Brooks hoped for a job painting or working on a construction project.

He had a city summer job last year.

The youth relaxed somewhat as council members or their representatives pulled eight names out of their buckets.

He still had a couple of chances. Perkins pulled eight names. Evans pulled eight more. Audience members fished two more from the stack.

Not this year.