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Tension builds up at city council special called meeting, work session

Tempers flared at the Selma City Council’s Special Called Meeting on Thursday at City Hall.

The purpose of the meeting was called to approve a bid for stabilization of the roof on the Welcome Center, but City Councilwoman Miah Jackson requested taxes get voted into the session.

City Councilwoman Susan Youngblood, however, objected to the unexpected, last-minute addition.

“I’m not excited about taxes, but I’m transparent and I want the people and the other council members to be here,” Youngblood said. “There’s a difference in following the rules and the spirit of the rules. It’s inappropriate.”

“I have not at anytime done anything sneaky,” Jackson said. “Anyone who thinks I’ll do anything sneaky, I find that offensive.”

Council President Corey Bowie tabled the discussion on gas tax, ½ cent sales tax and proposed new taxes.

The council unanimously voted to get the roof fixed on the Welcome Center. Williams Construction will repair the roof at $43,600.

City of Selma director of planning and development Henry Thompson said the money will come from Tourism.

Present at the meeting were Bowie, Carl Bowline, John Leashore and Sam Randolph, and councilwomen Youngblood, Jackson, Angela Benjamin and Jannie Thomas. Michael Johnson wasn’t present.

The meeting carried over into the work session, when the policy of using company vehicles came up again.

City Attorney and probate judge-elect Jimmy Nunn handed out the procedure. A vehicle authorization form must be filled out. If an officer must drive outside the city jurisdiction, they need a travel voucher and get approval from Mayor Darrio Melton.

Thomas said the council needed to know the proper procedure.

New city council meeting procedure was also discussed, changing the agenda. Bowie said he had been working on this for a while.

“It’s not rocket science,” Bowie said. “It will eliminate the business items. We’ll run the meeting more like a business.”

The regular city council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.