City Council discusses removing Mayor’s appointment powers again

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Selma City Council has drawn up an ordinance in an attempt to take away appointment power from Mayor Darrio Melton for three different positions and give it to the council.

The ordinance was drawn up by City Attorney and Dallas County Probate Judge-elect Jimmy Nunn and discussed at the city council meeting Tuesday at city hall. By law, the ordinance is on first read. The next step is the council vote at the next city council meeting on Sept. 25.

The council wants the police chief, fire chief and tax collector put under the city council. By state law, they are all under Melton.

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According to Council President Corey Bowie, the fire chief, police chief and tax collector would fall under the council via an ordinance by majority vote from the council under state law.

“We can appoint them pending passage of the ordinance,” Bowie said.

Melton could not be reached for comment, but voiced his frustrations in an open letter written to them last week.

“The council has turned its attention to personal attacks on the mayor’s office,” Melton wrote. “It is obvious that the council’s priorities are in the wrong place.”

For the second time this year, the council is trying to remove appointment power from Melton. An ordinance was also drawn up in February, but never passed.

Bowie said the idea is to give the council access to department heads, especially during the planning process for the 2018-2019 fiscal budget.

The council meeting had two other highlights:

-Councilwoman Angela Benjamin presented Dillon and Owen Barnett, 9 and 7, respectively, with trophies and declared them co-King of the Trash from her Ward 4 cleanup last month.

-Thomas Wright plans to give the council and their families a fish fry dinner in the near future for helping with Veterans Appreciation Day in May.

All council members were present except councilman Carl Bowline and councilwoman Susan Youngblood.

The next city council work session will be held on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. at city hall. The next city council meeting will be held on Sept. 25 at 5 p.m.