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City council hears more trash issues

Selma’s trash dilemma remained a hot topic at its bi-weekly City Council meeting on Tuesday at City Hall.

Former Selma mayor James Perkins Jr. spoke about trash outsourcing during the citizen’s portion of the council meeting.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor acknowledged he contacted regulators about solving the city’s ongoing trash issue.

“Citizens need to stop dumping trash on the road,” Perkins said. “You have to separate the trash from the garbage. There’s a problem dumping both. You have to develop a system. There are processes that could work. The system is broke. The agencies will help.”

The entire nine-person council was present: City Council President Corey D. Bowie, Randolph Ward 1 Councilman Carl Bowline, Ward 2 Councilwoman Susan Youngblood, Ward 3 Councilwoman Miah Jackson, Ward 4 Councilwoman Angela Benjamin, Ward 5 Councilman Samuel L., Ward 6 Councilman Johnnie M. Leashore, Ward 7 Councilwoman Jannie Thomas and Michael Johnson of Ward 8.

They all listened to Perkins passionately voice his displeasure and agreed.

“This should’ve been solved months ago,” Johnson said. “Every Ward has a trash problem.”

“I’m hurt by the trash I see in my neighborhood,” said Randolph. “Selma citizens need to take pride in their neighborhood and jumpstart their neighbors.”

Sea Coast Disposal told Bowie last week that 4,199 city residents had garbage service. 1,222 were without. Two garbage trucks were operating.

Randolph also discussed his issues with Selma’s law enforcement. Randolph, who was arrested on May 11 for public lewdness, pointed out the alleged unfair promotions in the police department as well as the quality between police chief Spencer Collier and Fire Chief Toney Stevens.

“The police chief drives home in the police car every night and the fire chief gets to stay overnight in Selma,” Randolph said. “The police chief makes $28,000 more than the fire chief. Police officers with disciplinary problems are getting promoted. There are two different police departments.”

The council had a dialogue about the police’s K-9 dogs. Bowie said he sent 10 questions to Selma mayor Darrio Melton about the police’s K-9 dogd, including their training, selection process and certification.

City treasurer Ronita Wade delivered the financial report and explained how expenses were processed. Several council’s purchase orders have been slow to get approved because the mayor reviews purchase orders for all city departments.

The council wants an alternate person alongside Melton to sign off on purchase orders. Bowie said he will recommend a new process.

Another highlight was Edmundite Missions CEO Chad McEachern presenting a $5,000 check to the Dinkins Pool. He made a report on the Missions’ economic impact in the Black Belt.

The check was presented to Bowie and Johnson. The $5,000 check goes to keep the Dinkins pool open for Selma-Dallas County kids can swim for free.  The Edmundite Missions has over $11 million in total economic impact in the Black Belt. They also provide 300,000 total meals served to those in need and 750 impoverished children provided with over 45,000 breakfasts.

“While I’m proud of the impact we’ve made on the local economy, I’m more proud of the impact we’ve made on the lives of those most in need by providing service for those in material need and offering solutions to those seeking a path to self-reliance.” McEachern said. “We accept zero federal or state dollars to do this work and we don’t charge our clients for any programs we offer.”