Selma City Council takes pay cut

Published 3:43 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If you want to get to Selma City Hall on time after Jan. 20, you’d need to remember city employees will work seven hours instead of the customary eight.

The Selma City Council voted Tuesday to cut City Hall working hours from 40 a week to 35 per week, based on a recommendation from Mayor George Evans. The move is a cost-cutting factor. the mayor explained.

Additionally, city department heads and Evans have agreed to take a 12.5 percent pay cut. The actual decrease in pay is less than the 20 percent originally anticipated by Evans. Shortly after hearing of the department heads’ action, a majority of city council members voluntarily cut their salaries by 12.5 percent.

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Council members Sam Randolph and Bennie Ruth Crenshaw said they did not want their 12.5 percent cut going into the general fund.

“I could see it if the city was broke,” said Randolph, “but the city is not broke.”

Randolph said he wanted his 12.5 percent to go to support Brown YMCA. Crenshaw said she wanted her portion of the salary to go to the nonprofit of her choice.

Crenshaw said most of the shortage was caused by city voters not approving a $12.5 bond issue early in 2008. Much of the city’s reserve was used to make up the difference in purchases needed, such as police cars, which left the city in a cash-flow bind.

Councilman B.L. Tucker said he would not contribute 12.5 percent of his salary to the general fund because he has a constituent with a !,720 water bill. “I have to do something about this,” he said.

Evans explained the city would receive a cash boost as individuals began paying property taxes, which were due Wednesday. A good deal of that money will flow in through March.

However, said Evans, a greater share of the dollars depended on by the city comes from sales tax dollars.

“Seventy percent of the money received by the city comes from sales tax — people shopping in Selma,” the mayor said.”Selma doesn’t have everything, but one day we will. It is my dream and my vision.”