Mayor: Watch city spending

Published 9:26 pm Saturday, October 21, 2017

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton has written a memo to Selma City Council members saying it’s imperative for the city to stop all non-essential and non-emergency spending for the time being.
The memo was dated Thursday, Oct. 19 and said the city of Selma is “currently in a financial crisis.”

“The city’s revenues are not keeping up with the city’s expenditures. The city’s general fund bank accounts are nearly depleted and invoices/bills are still accumulating,” Melton wrote in the memo. “It is imperative that we stop all non-essential and non-emergency spending until the revenue/cash reserves can rebound.”

Melton said revenue is slow to come in this time of year and that sales tax and property taxes would pick up closer to the end of the year. Property taxes are due Dec. 31.

“It’s that time of year where taxes come in slowly but surely. I think this has been a common practice over the last few years,” Melton said. “We have to make sure we are careful how we handle finances since the taxes don’t come in consistently during this time of year.”

Melton said the city made a payroll Friday, but that there could be cash issues in funding future payrolls if taxes don’t pick up.

“If taxes don’t come in, then there may be some issues with payroll,” Melton said.

The city is currently without a treasurer as Ronita Wade remains on administrative leave.

Melton fired Wade in September, but the Selma City Council voted to reinstate her during their last meeting.

However, two days later, Melton put her back on administrative leave. She’s been on leave for more than a week now.

Wade’s employment status is expected to be discussed during Tuesday’s council meeting. Melton said the city’s finance department was operating as usual.

“The finance department is still running as it always has,” Melton said.