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Working together for four years is everyone’s task

On Monday, as Selma’s new mayor and city council took their positions, the rest of us heard phrases like, “building bridges,” “moving forward” and “unity.”

This is a beginning. It is a time for all of us to come together.

First we must develop our people assets. Human development is the most important factor here because moving forward depends on people. If we don’t have good people, inside and outside of government, then we cannot build a good community; businesses cannot survive and government will become chaotic.

We cannot expect our leadership, elected by the people, to carry alone the burdens of bringing Selma back. It is up to all of us who live and work in Selma to join cooperatively to make this city a better place.

And working cooperatively does not mean that Selma exists inside a vacuum. Whatever Selma can do to give service to the people who live here benefits the larger community of Dallas County and even the Black Belt region. What happens in City Hall affects a larger group of people.

Thus, the development of this region, this county, this city rests in our hands as it always has. This beginning of four years of new city government — and after today, a newly elected Dallas County Commission — is a call for us to operate unselfishly with a cooperative helpfulness that should be a part of our corporate character.

Our ethics and the achievement of the goals that we have set as individuals, businesses and groups should be our measuring stick. If we continue to work in factions and in discord, we will not achieve that spirit which will make Selma, Dallas County and the Black Belt distinctive.