Letting system be was right

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

At one point last week, the Selma City Council seemed ready to change the rules of residency in the middle of the game.

The council had received numerous applications for city treasurer and city clerk — the two appointments the council makes every four years. The council considered extending the residency requirements for appointees and department heads to Dallas County, instead of the city.

The Times-Journal took the council to task for changing the rules, saying it indicated that perhaps some minds were made up about the appointments already.

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But Tuesday night, the council came back and said it would not change the rules of the game. Council member Dr. Monica Newton eloquently described how those who lead departments in the city should contribute to the city’s well-being. Council member Susan Keith pointed out how tax revenue is the life blood of the city and how department heads or those appointed to boards should pay property taxes and support the city that supports them.

Any change should have come from the previous council, said Council President Geraldine Allen. For this council to attempt to make the changes in residency requirements lends the impression of city officials not conducting themselves forthrightly.

It takes courage and a willingness to admit to hasty decisions and do what the city council did Tuesday night. This is called statesmanship.