Letter to the editor: Selma needs good leaders

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear editor,

Selma, along with some other Alabama municipalities, will conduct elections on Tuesday, Aug. 23. People are frustrated with the performance of our local, state and nationally elected officials. Voters are not content with the “old guard,” and they seek new leadership from Congress in Washington, D. C. to their local city hall. The ballot in 2016 gives voters the opportunity to usher in new “political blood” nationwide. A political overhaul is past due for some public offices. The ballot gives voters clout.

Selma needs progressive youth leadership in the mayor’s office and on the city council. The local community cannot afford four more years of do-nothing legislation and stagnated leadership. Term limits should be enacted for some locally elected public offices to eliminate ineffective career politicians. Many individuals argue that young candidates for public offices do not have experience and wisdom. Every aged veteran politician does not have wisdom. Some young adults have wisdom.

Wisdom can be defined as the quality of being wise; good judgment, based on knowledge, etc. It is incumbent upon Selma’s voters to elect impact leaders in 2016. What type of qualities/characteristics should a youth leader possess to be Selma’s next chief executive? Christianteens.about.com listed five characteristics of an effective youth leader: (1) the God-centered heart, (2) the servant heart, (3) a positive attitude, (4) a sense of responsibility and authority and (5) big shoulders.

Additional research indicated further vital youth leadership qualities: inspiring, intelligent, visionary, mediator, energetic, tolerant, understanding, trustworthy, accepts suggestions, to have power but not abuse it, have beliefs, versatile, organizer, democratic, sense of community, idealism, can build a rapport with citizens of the community, adopt and delegate abilities, not biased and should be able to admit to not knowing some things.

Selma does not need a leader who is arrogant, domineering, stubborn, inflexible, bossy, impatient, uncommunicative, corrupt and authoritative/dictatorial. Oftentimes in the Bible Belt, candidates for public offices expound on their religious values or principles. Nonetheless, an individual who is corrupt in the church will be more corrupt in government, specifically the mayor’s office. He or she is fearless.

Numerous visitors to the city are taken about with its environmental condition. The vicious cycle of poverty has to be eradicated. Selma is last in most things are good and first in most things that are bad.


Gerald Shirley