Selma Fire Chief resigns after less than 3 months on the job

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, May 10, 2022

From Staff Reports

 

Selma’s Fire chief Willie Mason resigned on Monday, just three months after being appointed by the Selma City Council

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. made the announcement Tuesday in a press release and said Captain Franklin Edwards will be the acting fire chief until the post is permanently filled.

“The citizens elected me to lead the performance of daily operations of city government. But how can I do that when this city council will not listen to me when it comes to who will work as department heads,” Perkins said in the release.

Perkins and the city council have been at odds over appointment powers, which the city council holds, and Perkins wants.

“As long as the city council dictates the appointments of city department heads, there is no way the public can hold me, as mayor, responsible for those departments’ performance. This is frustrating and outright managerially impossible to deal with,” Perkins said.

In the release, Perkins called on the citizens of Selma to initiate a change in how department heads are hired, but did not go into specifics of how they might do that. Perkins also said dysfunction in city government is the city council’s fault.

“The citizens elected me and the city council members also, and it must be the citizens who correct this craziness,” Perkins said. “For those who continue asking, ‘what is wrong with Selma’s government?’ the answer is, City Council Overreach.”

Selma City Councilman Clay Carmichael said he appreciated Mason’s work ethic and dedication.

“Mason stood out as a class act,” Carmichael said. “Wherever he goes, his infectious attitude and great mind will prove successful. We’re thankful he spent the time that he did at SFD, and hopefully he’ll continue to help our community from afar. Thank you for your service Willie Mason.”

Edwards was indicted in Jefferson County last year for leaving the scene of an accident on Interstate 59 where a man died on June 27, 2020.  A pretrial hearing is scheduled on June 16 at 9 a.m. in the Jefferson County Bessemer Courthouse.

Efforts to reach Mason by the Selma Times-Journal were unsuccessful. When contacted by the Times-Journal, Edwards declined comment.

 

This is a developing story and The Selma Times-Journal will update it as new information becomes available.