SMITH: Same problems plaguing city

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There were high hopes in some circles when the incumbent mayor was defeated and a new fresh administration took over the reigns of city government.

It may be that the new administration is doing the best it can, and I have no reason to believe otherwise. However, we seem to have the same basic problems plaguing the city as before. It seems to me the root cause needs to be addressed in an effort to change the results.

The Selma Times-Journal ran a front-page story Friday, Sept. 15 stating only half the residents are paying garbage bills. Is this not the same problem Advance Disposal encountered? Seacoast is likely to pull out too if the volume of business is not sufficient to recover expenses. It is a matter of economics, no one is willing to collect garbage and lose money doing it. Garbage collection is an essential service deserving of appreciation and to be paid.

Also, is there anyone here surprised by the report last week that speeding was rampant in Selma? This didn’t just begin either, it has been going on for eons. If nothing is done to curb the violations, the perpetrators get more and more brazen and faster and more reckless. The mindset that there is no enforcement of speed limits needs to change. Bring back the motorcycle police with the speed guns, and it won’t take long to practically end the violations.

To properly enforce the laws, you must have ample police officers on duty. It is no secret the police department has been working short-handed for several years. The available officers are stretched thin with sometimes as few as three working the entire city at night I am told.

This is just another of the ongoing problems in Selma. Selma needs more police officers. However, it is difficult to recruit new officers given the environment created over the past few years. The mindset that police officers are the bad guys needs to change. Officers’ number one priority is to serve and protect the public even sometimes under dangerous and stressful conditions. Thank God for the dedicated men and women Selma has willing to work in the police department.

In conclusion, I end this without discussing problems involving the sale of the St. James, stray cats, backyard kennels, junk cars in yards, the unemployed and numerous other concerns. I’d like to be more positive, but it all depends on some visible progress being made.

One positive and a blessing was the resurfacing of Broad Street, but I’m told it was a federal and state project on U. S. Highway 80.

Some other positives would be the fried green tomatoes at the Side Porch are still delicious as is the barbecue at Hancock’s. Also, I might add, the churches, civic clubs, charity and veteran organizations are still doing good works. Thanks for being here and caring.

At least, that is the way I see it.