All is not lost in negotiations

Published 12:35 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mayor George Evans has a proposal before the Selma City Council that would hire Dr. Ralph Iomio as a consultant to search for grants to enable the city to construct a public safety complex. Nearly two years ago Iomio analyzed and wrote a report outlining ways to improve the police department in Selma. City and police officials have seen some of those items through to fruition. Others, such as pay raises for police, have not.

Mr. Evans’ proposal was given to the council Tuesday night during the first meeting of the new year. It called for Dr. Iomio to receive $1,300 a month for 12 months. Dr. Geraldine Allen, the council president, raised questions about the amount of money and the proposal’s terms. She said she would go with two or three months, but not 12.

That issue aside, Mr. Evans appears to be moving in a forward direction. One of the issues cited in Iomio’s study was the deplorable condition of the structure that houses the police department. For years, workers have complained of mold. The third floor has been repaired over and over and still some portions are unusable. Workers should have better conditions, especially those who are supposed to preserve and protect.

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Fortunately, both Mr. Evans and Dr. Allen are reasonable people. It is expected a contract with a timeline will be hammered out. Because of Iomio’s initial work with the city and because his credentials seem to rest on firm foundation, he should be the person to conduct the search and lead the city into this next phase of implementing his report. And, perhaps while he is working with the city to find grants for a new public safety complex, Iomio can stress some other items he recommended, but the city has not yet completed.