Shane Dunaway: You’re doing great Selma, but there’s room for improvement

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

One of my first assignments when I set foot in the office on Valentine’s Day for my first day of work was to write an introductory column. My headline and overall message for that column was for the people here to “Show me what makes Selma special,” and on many fronts, you’ve all delivered.

Since my arrival at The Selma Times-Journal, I have seen a wide range of events and happenings, and from those experiences, there’s quite a bit to unpack.

There are so many groups out there working to make a difference in the lives of people here, whether it’s the Selma Charity League holding a fundraiser to generate funds for the Selma-Dallas County Public Library or it’s organizations like the Selma Rotary Club or Dallas Wilcox Bama Club awarding some of our local high-school seniors with some much-deserved scholarship funds so they can pursue their goals.

Email newsletter signup

Experiencing my first-ever Bridge Crossing Jubilee and hearing Vice President Kamala Harris speak may be the most impactful event I’ve had the privilege of covering the past 4 1/2 months. Just being in the moment and understanding the historical significance of what the Civil Rights Leaders had to endure in their fight for equality is a memory I can hold close as I progress throughout my career.

I’ve seen some high school athletes excel on the baseball diamond, and though I didn’t get to cover as many games as I would’ve liked, it has me eager for when fall sports arrive.

I’ve seen the good and the bad when it comes to our local government leaders working together … or choosing not to work together. It’s a real shame Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. doesn’t have the same rapport with the Selma City Council as he does with the Dallas County Commission – more specifically Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn.

The way Perkins and his staff works with Nunn and his staff to make things happen, be it combining youth sports programs or creating a one-stop shop for tax collection purposes, is a shining example of how things could be. My hope is, by the end of the year, maybe the two entities, Perkins and the council, can sit down together, have an honest discussion about why they can’t get on the same page and work together to fix those issues for the benefit of the city as a whole and its citizens.

I’ve met local artists whose visions amaze me. I could never produce in a million years some of the works I’ve seen them create, but my words are my paintbrush.

I’ve met people who either have invested or want to invest in downtown Selma. I applaud their initiative, and I wish them the best in their endeavors.

I’ve seen innovation find its way to an old Air Force relic. With the addition of Advanced ATC and Indra Corp at Craig Field, it brings new jobs, opportunities and ways to showcase what Selma can offer.

Outsiders can look at Selma and say whatever they want about the state of affairs here, but until they come experience the area themselves, their opinions and perspectives are unfounded.

You’re doing great, Selma, but we can all do better. It starts with understanding each other’s struggles and working together.

Also, can we cut it out with the murders already? We’ve had about eight too many.