Council mulls bond issue

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

Selma City Council members received a revised wish list for a bond issue during a work session Thursday, but it’s not written in concrete.

Mayor George Evans stressed the list is “a work in progress.” He gave it to the council for discussions to begin. Those discussions will continue Tuesday during the council meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

The latest bunch of proposals contains 52 items that total about $13 million.

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Evans also clarified his position as to the bond issue. He said he isn’t in an “all-or-nothing” mode.

“I would like to see it all one item, but it doesn’t mean it will be,” he said. “The citizens will decide that ultimately. But the idea would be through a concensus, through all the means we have in Selma everywhere.”

Evans said citizens should have a sheet of paper listing items, giving them an opportunity to mark items they would like to see on the ballot and to challenge items they do not want to see on the ballot.

At one point during the meeting, Evans said he could envision a ballot that had two options — one that gave approval to all items and another that allows voters to select certain items.

The option won the support of Councilman the Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson, who said the two-prong ballot approach makes him more likely to support the bond issue.

Williamson was one of only four council members present for the called work session. Others attending were Councilwoman Angela Benjamin and Councilmen Corey Bowie and the Rev. B.L. Tucker.

Councilwoman Susan Keith had a previous commitment at a Homeland Security meeting sponsored by the National League of Cities in Mobile. Councilwoman Dr. Monica Newton was teaching classes in Huntsville, but sent an e-mail to Williamson for reading at the meeting.

In the e-mail, Newton said she does not wish the bond issue to include items, such as equipment and software, that the city could pay for in five years, rather than lumped with other items for payment over 20 years.