Argument between Mayor, Administrative Assistant takes over Selma City Council meeting

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Selma City Council meeting was interrupted when Mayor Darrio Melton came into the building and fired Council’s Administrative Assistant Temekia Sykes.

Melton’s action allegedly stemmed from learning the city council voted to freeze promotions and rejection of his $22 million proposed budget.

Selma resident Deborah Reeves-Howard witnessed the exchange between Melton and Sykes. Parks and Recreation Director Sean Vandiver was also present.

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“The Mayor came in and told Temekia she was fired,” Reeves-Howard said. “She said, ‘You’re going to talk to me like that?’ He told the police, ‘Get her out of my building.’”

The council members unanimously voted to reinstate Sykes.

According to Council President Corey Bowie, Melton could fire Sykes for just cause, but she must go through due process.

“She’s critical to our day to day operation,” Bowie said. “We were talking about ways of streamlining the budget and then the Mayor fires our administrative assistant.”

Councilman Sam Randolph commented on the firing.

“The Mayor came in fuming over us rejecting his budget,” Randolph said. “He fired her out of retaliation. The Mayor got mad because we’re going to defund his chief of staff position.

“A mayor in the city the size of Selma doesn’t need a chief of staff. He’s supposed to be a man of God. He didn’t come to the Council meeting. He was wrong and needs to be told he was wrong.”

The council, who were all present at the meeting, also voted against Melton’s Gas Tax, ½ cent sales tax and proposed new taxes.

The council plans to have a budget hearing at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, with hopes of salvaging a 2018-2019 budget.

“We’ll do our due diligence and we’ll have a balanced budget by Sept. 30 and you can quote that in the paper,” Bowie said.