City Council discusses public safety, Parks and Recreation Department

Published 7:42 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

One of Selma City Council President Corey Bowie’s goals was to shorten bi-monthly council meetings.

Mission accomplished, as the City Council had a 75-minute meeting on Tuesday. The last few Council meetings lasted four hours.

Council members present were President Corey Bowie, Ward 1 Councilman Carl Bowline, Ward 2 Councilwoman Susan Youngblood, Ward 3 Councilwoman Miah Jackson, Ward 6 Councilman Johnnie Leashore, Ward 7 Councilwoman Jannie Thomas, Ward 4 Councilwoman Angela Benjamin and Michael Johnson of Ward 8.

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Ward 5 Councilman Samuel L. Randolph wasn’t present because of military duty.

The Council meeting had several highlights.

Jackson delivered a powerful presentation of her Residence in Service Equally United in Partnership (R.I.S.E.) Up challenge. Her five-minute video presentation displayed the city’s past, present and future, with images of Dr. Martin Luther King, President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.

“We need to rise up and come together,” Jackson said.

Johnson, whose council’s responsibility is Public Safety, discussed Tuesday’s capture of Marquavious Benjamin, charged with capital murder. He praised the teamwork of Selma Chief of Police Spencer Collier, mayor Darrio Melton, Selma Police Department, Fourth Circuit Drug Task Force and the U.S. Marshalls.

“When you come together, you can accomplish anything,” Johnson said.

The city’s Park and Recreation center’s dilemma was also discussed. The Alabama Wage and labor has visited a few times over its numerous equal opportunity complaints.

“I recommended to the mayor Park and Recreation center should be completely retooled,” Bowline said. “He hadn’t gotten back with me.”

The Council approved Firstnet as the city’s new phone service, replacing AT&T. The monthly cell phone service with AT&T was $4,912.89, and it costs $4,340.95 for FirstNet. The annual cost at AT&T was $58,954.68, compared to $52,091.40 at FirstNet. The city will save $6,863.28 a year.

Leshore expressed disdain about the city’s current state, especially its ongoing trash issue.

“It’s so depressing when I drive around the city, I’m embarrassed to say I’m from Selma,” Leshore said.

Benjamin deemed the seventh annual Jazz on the Grass a success. The event took place on June 16.

“We had so many accolades and I’d like to thank my sponsors and fellow council members for supporting it,” Benjamin said.