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Higher pay for those who serve

This is something just about everyone agrees on. Selma city employees —specifically those in the public safety departments of the Selma Police and Fire departments — need an increase in pay.

Maybe because everyone agrees upon the idea, that it becomes that much tougher to accomplish.

For years, we have heard evidence, showing the huge number of calls those in the Selma Police Department respond to during a year’s time. We also hear how that number of calls far outpaces those made each year in Prattville, Demopolis and similar size cities. Yet, the pay those officers receive far outpaces that paid to Selma officers.

That has to change.

Over the coming months, there is little doubt we will hear ideas and see proposals for ways to pay for a pay raise for all of Selma’s employees.

Today, we ask that nothing be off limits when it comes to how to pay for it, how to make it happen.

Again, remember, we all agree these dedicated city employees deserve more money.

We ask there be no grandstanding by some on the council, blocking such a move because of personal or professional gain. We ask that everyone come into the discussion open-minded with a single purpose; to make the raise a reality.

In the case of the Selma Police Department, we must find a way to not only find ways to pay the department’s personnel better, we must find ways to hire more officers.

Selma Mayor George Evans has said he would love to see a department with as many as 70 officers; giving he and police leadership the flexibility to begin more neighborhood policing and other programs.

If it costs more, it costs more.

We cannot think of a way to place a dollar amount on the value a safe community provides.

How can you place a dollar amount on what it means to have safe streets, playgrounds and neighborhoods? You can’t.

For most part, the municipal elections are over, and it’s time those elected to office get to work on making this project a priority.