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City of Selma delivers more than 65 layoff notices

By: Thomas Scott and James Jones

More than 65 City of Selma employees left work on Monday afternoon having received an official layoff notice from the city’s human resources department.

“Due to lack of funds, it will be necessary for the City of Selma to reduce the number of its employees,” the notice signed by Sean VanDiver of the city’s Personnel Department said. “In accordance with the Personnel Rules and Regulations for the City of Selma, Rule 5.4, a layoff plan has been prepared and approved to accomplish this.”

The 15-day notice alerted the employees that the layoff goes into effect after the close of business on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton and chief of staff Saprina Simmons visited the city’s Parks and Recreation Department personally to meet with the staff, answer questions and deliver the notices to 11 employees.

The Parks and Recreation department was just one of the departments that was effected by the decrease in spending in the city’s budget.

The city council devoted $752,245 of its $17.4 million budget to the Parks and Recreation Department.  The budget decreased spending in the Parks and Recreation Department by $16,902.

In Mayor Melton’s proposed $22 million budget, he had $801,475 devoted to the parks and recreation department. The budget, which was rejected by the city council, had a $32,237 increase in salaries for the department.

The council defunded the vacant positions, but made adjustments for FICA, health, retirement and life insurance. They also consolidated the department’s office supplies and miscellaneous expense to Government office supplies and miscellaneous.

Council President Corey Bowie stated that the council will call a meeting to discuss the layoffs.

“The City Council will convene in a special call meeting to address the employees laid off,” he said. “After the special call meeting, we can determine our future course of action. I support all our employees and appreciate their work ethic.”