City council should focus on larger issues, let Melton run his own office

Published 7:44 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

Last Thursday night at a Selma City Council work session, councilman Sam Randolph brought up defunding the recently created chief of staff position in Mayor Darrio Melton’s office. Randolph told council members the city wasn’t getting it’s money’s worth, and proposed voting Tuesday night to defund the position for next year’s budget. We don’t think the council should do that.

Melton was elected by the citizens of Selma to run this city. Just as mayors have before him, Melton staffed his office. With the budget he was given, Melton restructured the mayor’s office and created a chief of staff position with a salary of about $55,000. He said he even saved the city money in the process.

It is not the council’s job the decide who the mayor has working in his office as long as he works within the budget he was given by the council. It is the mayor, after all, that runs the day to day operations of this city.

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Whether Ollie Davison is called the chief of staff or some other title, Melton has the right to staff his office as he sees fit. It is the council’s job to approve a budget, which they did, and they should allow Melton to use the budget that was given to him. Melton said Friday that having a chief of staff has benefited the city.

“It was important that the chief of staff position was created. The mayor can’t be all things to all people at all places at all times, and the chief of staff serves in the capacity to represent me when I can’t go to other places and to help me make sure we can push the city forward,” Melton said.

We believe the council should let the mayor staff his office as needed, as long as he is in his provided budget. If the citizens don’t like it, then the citizens have the opportunity to speak at the next municipal election. If there comes a time when there needs to be cuts made to the city’s budget, then the council can take a look at where cuts need to be made.