Selma needs a plan

Published 12:36 am Sunday, April 19, 2009

Anyone will tell you the secret to success is planning. If a student wants to achieve great academic feats, he or she will plan a course of study, set goals and carry them out. If a businessperson wants to increase profit, he or she will sit down with the spreadsheets, plan a course of action, set goals and implement the tasks to accomplish those goals.

And so it is with cities.

We have observed Selma making improvements gradually with several projects underway at one time. What we have not seen is an overall plan that outlines what these projects are and how they fit into the puzzle.

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It seems to us that a city or regional planner could help us most right now. These planners develop long- and short-term plans for the use of land and the region in which they’re located. They help local officials alleviate social, economic and environmental problems by recommending locations for roads, schools and other infrastructure and suggesting zoning regulations for private property. This works for the present and future needs of a population.

Before preparing plans, the planners study and report on the current use of land for residential, business and community purposes. Their reports include information on the location and capacity of streets, highways, airports, water and sewer lines, schools, library and cultural and recreational sites. They provide data on the types of industries in the community, the character of the population and employment and economic trends. Using this information and with citizen input, planners try to optimize land use for buildings and other public facilities.

Selma needs a plan. Our city officials should find a way to work this position into the next fiscal year’s budget.