Selma opens house

Published 10:09 pm Monday, December 10, 2012

Selma residents who have wondered what goes on at a public works department or curious about what happens inside the fire department, and those interested in the history that’s buried in the cemeteries will have an opportunity for all of their questions to be answered Tuesday.

Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mayor George Evans and the employees of the city of Selma are hosting the annual holiday open house across all of the city’s departments including: City Hall, 222 Broad St.; Main Fire Station, 1500 Broad St.; Cemetery Department, New Live Oak Cemetery; Police Department, 1300 Alabama Ave.; Recreation Department, Memorial Stadium and the Public Works Department, 4555 Water Ave. until 3 p.m.

“Basically we’re going to have an open house where citizens can come by and meet employees,” Mayor Evans said. “Just a matter of fellowshipping and celebrating the season. In reality that’s what it’s all about.”

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Evans said he and other city employees would be ready and available to answer questions and hear suggestions from residents.

“[We’re here] to share information. Just giving information out and answer any questions,” he said. “If anyone has any suggestions they can drop them off as well. As to how we can improve what we do, we’d love to hear from them. We’d love to hear things we can do differently in different departments.”

The mayor said all city departments will be participating in the open house and hopes residents will come out and ask questions and fellowship together.

Selma Fire Chief Mike Stokes said people who walk into the fire department will be greeted with a smile and a cheerful attitude.

“Kids come by all the time,” Stokes said. “[But] parents don’t, unless they’re with the group that brings the children. [The open house] gives the parents or the adults an opportunity to come see where we’re at and what we’re doing. If they want to walk around the stations they’re more than welcome to do that.”

Stokes said he hopes residents stop by and see the decorated fire stations.

“[We] look forward to mingling with the public and answering any questions they may have, whether it be on fire-related questions, fire safety or just general questions,” he said.

John Coon from the cemetery department said he is hoping people stop by New Live Oak Cemetery for some refreshments and to have their questions answered.

“We’ll be glad to help them look up any information they need concerning their family burial site. We can answer questions about other people, historic people who may be buried in the Old Live Oak Cemetery. We can give them a little bit of history about the cemeteries,” Coon said. “We didn’t have a lot of people last year, so we would hope for more. We would like to see some interest this year and encourage people to come out and pay us a visit.”

The public works department will be giving some demonstrations of the work they do, Elois Smith, public works secretary said.

“If they were to come out, they would be able to get a first-hand look at some of the work that’s done out here and maybe let them sit in on a call or two,” Smith said. “ [We’d] let them try to get a feel on what goes on out here and how it’s handled.”

Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said the open house is a great idea.

“[The mayor] always talked about being more open to the public,” Riley said. “It’s nice to let people know some of the things we do on a daily basis. So I think it’s good for the public to come in and ask questions.”