Evans takes a look at assuming office

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mayor-elect George Evans said he’d take his time reorganizing city government after assuming office in November.

Evans made the remarks Monday at the Selma Rotary Club as he spoke about public safety, Selma Police Chief William T. Riley III and other aspects of Selma government.

“My goal would be to work with him,” said Evans of Riley.

Evans said he would take 90 days to a year to look at the situation, then make decisions about individuals in positions and jobs slots. He assured members of the service club he would treat people, as he would want them to treat him.

And he promised changes and reorganization.

“But it won’t be from the stand point of getting even,” Evans said.

The incoming mayor said he would conduct city government differently, seeking to work together with city employees, the city council, non-profit organizations, individuals and the business community. “We must build trust again,” he said.

Evans promised an open-door administration. He promised people could come and talk to him about their concerns. That doesn’t mean the mayor will always agree with the advice or solutions. “Not everybody will be with me,” Evans said. “We’re going to disagree sometime.”

At the same time Evans wants to help move Selma forward, working to improve its infrastructure, which he said would take millions of dollars; working with newly hired Selma Schools Superintendent Austin Obasohan to help improve education; calling on businesses to help provide summer jobs for teenagers; and reworking city ordinances to make them enforceable.

“We didn’t get in this position overnight,” Evans said, “and I just think it’s going to take some time.”