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Selma Water Board votes to remove Crenshaw

A majority of the Selma Water Board has voted to remove Bennie Ruth Crenshaw as secretary and treasurer of the body.

The move came Monday during a regular meeting. Voting to remove Crenshaw were board members the Rev. B. L. Tucker and Dr. Geraldine Allen. Board president the Rev. Lee Goodwin voted with the two board members, said Selma Mayor George Evans, superintendent of the Water Board. Board member Millie Vick voted to allow Crenshaw to keep her position.

The move to relieve Crenshaw of her duties came immediately after she refused to sign minutes of prior meetings. Crenshaw would not discuss specifics about the meeting, referring The Selma Times-Journal reporter to the board president.

The meeting opened Monday as usual. When Goodwin called for the signing of the minutes, Crenshaw refused, said Allen.

“She said she would not sign the minutes because of me,” Allen said. “She said she felt like I was in violation of the injunction and as secretary, minutes she wants to sign she can and minutes she doesn’t want to sign, she won’t.”

Allen said she made a motion that if she was not going to “do her due diligence as secretary, that we remove her as far as secretary treasurer.”

Goodwin said Crenshaw’s signing of the minutes is an administrative act and a majority of the board had already approved the minutes.

The injunction was issued months ago by the Alabama Supreme Court, preventing Allen from taking a seat to which she was appointed by the Selma City Council during the last administration. Allen was appointed in lieu of Councilman Sam Randolph by the council. During the vote, she voted for herself, which gave her the majority. Later, the Selma Water Board filed a complaint in court claiming because Allen voted for herself, the vote was nullified and asked the court to rule that way. Randolph joined the lawsuit, saying he should have remained on the board.

Only recently, and after a new administration took office in November, was Allen appointed to the board. This time she did not vote for herself. Later, the board, Allen and Randolph reached a settlement that allows Allen to sit on the board.

But until the matter was settled, Crenshaw and Vick walked out of the meetings when Allen appeared.

“I did not want to be in violation of the injunction,” Vick explained. “She was not supposed to be in the building and not participate in anything concerning money.”

Vick said she supported Crenshaw’s move not to sign the minutes because those documents reflected action taken before the settlement and while the injunction was in full force. Allen had attended some of those meetings.

“They are just really railroading us,” Vick said, “because I got up out of the meeting and she walked out when we were under a court order from the supreme court for her (Allen) not to be on the premises.”

Goodwin said he expects the board to appoint another treasurer. However, a water board employee is taking minutes, now as an addition to her job and he does not expect that practice to change.