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Attendance at work sessions needed by council

Several weeks ago, The Selma Times-Journal applauded the Selma City Council for using its work sessions to clear out the little things on the agenda to get to the heart of matters during the Monday night meetings.

We agree with Mayor-elect George Evans, who has said he would like to end Monday night meetings earlier. For too long, council members have prolonged meetings with their posturing to the public in council chambers at City Hall and those listening to the radio broadcast.

But we’ve noticed a trend about the work sessions, too. City council members don’t always attend these meetings.

For example, on Thursday, only Jannie Venter, Reid Cain, Jean Martin, Evans and Cecil Williamson showed up for the work session. Some lively debate ensued about various matters, but one had to wonder what the others were doing. After all, the council meets in a work session every Thursday before a Monday board meeting, unless the council president calls off the meeting.

We could understand an absence here and there by a council member. But we checked back to find most of the time at least three council members do not attend work sessions regularly.

New council members will take office in November. Because November will mark the beginning of new four-year terms for city officials, we would encourage them to attend their work sessions and make them fruitful.

This term carries with it high expectations from the public.