Selma in need of new city treasurer

Published 8:52 pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By Christopher Edmunds

The Selma Times-Journal

With deadlines fast approaching, Selma is scrambling to find a new city treasurer.

Email newsletter signup

Members of the Selma City Council Administrative Committee discussed the job posting and interview process for a new city treasurer during its Wednesday meeting.

Current city treasurer Cynthia Mitchell will retire at the end of August after working with the city for more than 10 years.

City Council President Corey Bowie said the timing of Mitchell’s retirement leaves the city with little time to find, interview, hire and train a new treasurer before next year’s budget is due on Oct. 1.

“We have some very critical times coming up,” Bowie said. “We need to have a budget prepared by the end of September, and they need to look over her shoulder and train before then.”

The job listing opened on July 11, and the committee agreed to recommend closing the job listing by July 25 to allow time for interviews and training.

Councilman Greg Bjelke said it is crucial to find someone to fill the role as soon as possible.

“We can’t dillydally on this,” Bjelke said.

Interviews for the position will be conducted by the administrative committee, but Bowie urged all council members to attend the interviews.

The committee agreed on recommending to the council a base salary range of $45,000 to $52,000 to be offered with the job, depending on qualifications.

Bowie said while he would like to offer the maximum amount to attract the best applicants, it would be best to leave room for improvement and to respect the previous treasurer’s years of service.

“It’s kind of like a slap in the face if you bring somebody in making 52 [thousand] when you have somebody who left after 10 years making 52 [thousand],” Bowie said. “But you can also look at it as leaving room for improvement. You may find a top-rate person, but you need to keep in mind that municipal finance is different from any kind of finance.”

The City Council appoints two positions within city government: the city clerk and the city treasurer.

Bowie said the hiring process is nothing new, but there will be some small changes.

Along with the interview conducted by the committee and members of the council, applicants will submit a written response to a hypothetical scenario involving city finance.

Once the committee has narrowed the field down to no more than three applicants, the council will decide the appointment.

According to the current job posting, qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a minimum of five years of experience.

For more information about the city treasurer job opening, contact Valeria Jones at

In other news from the meeting:

• Members of the committee recommended several ways to continue efforts to trim the length of city council meetings, including the review of reports during council work sessions on Thursdays instead of during council meetings.

• A recommendation was made to earmark a portion of the budget for capital improvements to prevent from pulling oil lease funds for such work.

• Members of the committee recommended a meeting between the City Council and the Alabama Revenue Service to discuss proper taxation of entertainment venues, such as clubs, convention centers and the future amphitheater.