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Next council will have power to appoint attorney

By a 5-4 vote Tuesday night, the Selma City Council approved an ordinance that would put appointment power for the city attorney under the council, rather than the mayor.

Opposing the measure we Selma City Council members Miah Jackson, Michael Johnson, John Leashore and Carl Bowline.

For his part, Selma City Councilman Corey Bowie said the move was not personal, despite the friction evident between some council members and current Selma City Attorney Major Madison, but was meant to put the council and the attorney on “one accord” for the best interest of the city.

The city attorney, whose tenure corresponds with the mayor’s, will now be selected by the council.

The council also approved expenditures for a variety of COVID-19 supplies – more than $3,000 was approved for the Selma Police Department (SPD), more than $2,000 was approved for the Selma Fire Department (SFD) and more than $15,600 for the council, which will be used for supplies – gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks and more – across all city departments.

According to an invoice, the city will pay $15,000 for 20,000 surgical face masks, $270 for 18 34-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer, $54 for 18 bottles of disinfectant spray, and $144 each for eight boxes of 100 large nitrile gloves and 100 medium nitrile gloves.

According to Bowie, the purchases on behalf of city departments will also be used to protect voters and election workers during the August municipal election.

The council also approved a proposal to remove security cameras from Selma City Clerk Ivy Harrison’s office in order to ensure citizen privacy ahead of the municipal election, as well as the privacy of candidates now qualifying to run for office in the clerk’s office.

The council also approved moving ahead with a contract for repairing the cave-in at Riverfront Park.

Bowie said he expects for work to begin on the project in the coming weeks.

The council also approved $7,500 for Tri-County Construction to dredge the inlet at the city marina, as well as $16,000 for drainage improvement work in Ward 2.

The Ward 2 project concerns sliding land, which could pose a threat to nearby homes, behind Selma City Councilwoman Susan Youngblood’s property.

The council also approved a request from Leashore for funds to beautify Ward 6, despite Leashore having stated during a September 2019 Public Works Committee meeting that he opposed the outsourcing of such services, as well as a request from Selma City Councilwoman Jannie Thomas to fill Ward 7 potholes and a request from Selma City Councilwoman Miah Jackson for tree trimming in Ward 3.