Take care with bond issue items

Published 7:45 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

As the City of Selma considers another bond issue, the proponents of the issue need to remember past failures and learn from those opportunities.

Today, the Selma City Council will meet in a work session to take a look at the proposed list of items, which are also listed on page A2 of this edition of The Selma Times-Journal. Everybody needs to be on the same page.

It appears, from the remarks made by Mayor George Evans and City Council President Dr. Geraldine Allen, city officials are serious about reaching for items needed and not those that would seem ancillary, such as movie theaters.

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Mayor Evans has indicated that he would propose a bond issue ballot to include all the items or none of them.

This approach to the last bond issue in 2008 proved a major reason for its failure.

Evans said a series of meetings and listening to voters’ concerns could reduce the chances of percieved frivolous items making it to the ballot. He also seems to believe the public would vote an omnibus bond issue up or down, if the public was well enough educated.

Perhaps. But we’re not totally convinced the public will attend enough of these meetings to really educated themselves.

This goals and aims of this bond issue must be crystal clear and must be communicated as such to the public or the city risks another failure.