Vote is best way to fill empty seat

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson has been duly sworn in as Selma City Council president. On Tuesday evening, a majority of the Selma City Council declared his Ward 1 seat vacant.

Now comes a test.

The council could fill the slot by a vote at the next council meeting, Tuesday, if it so desired. That’s the law. Or the council could leave the seat vacant for 60 days and a special election would be held to fill the vacancy.

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The Selma Times-Journal sent two reporters to Ward 1 last week and interviewed close to 100 registered voters in the area. Most of them said they would like to pick their own representative on the city council. Few people would want others from other wards, unfamiliar with the inner workings of Ward 1 to sit and declare someone to fill that seat for nearly 2 1/2 years.

Good men and women live in the ward and they are capable, if they so choose, to help set policy for the city as a member of the council.

If the people want the vote, then the council should wait the 60 days and allow the mayor to call for an election as required by law.

In a democracy, a vote is the best way.