Selma Mayor unveils his 2024 Budget Proposal

Published 10:10 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. unveiled his proposed 2024 Fiscal Year Budget on Wednesday at Wallace Community College-Selma.

Perkins’ proposed $21 million budget is highlighted by mergers to create three major departments.

“It’s important that the public actually understands our why. Why we are recommending what we’re recommending to the council,” Perkins said. “It’s a work in progress.”

Email newsletter signup

Public works, public buildings, cemeteries, and parks and recreation would form the “public service” department.

Tax and license would fall under the finance department, where the city will hire a finance director.

Code enforcement would dissolve its director position, making Selma police officers responsible for code enforcement and law enforcement.

Perkins said he will present his budget proposal to the City Council during the next meeting. Perkins said that he expects some tough negotiations between the two sides. Lesia James was the only Selma City Council member who attended the hearing.

“I expect some give and take,” Perkins said.

Attorney Major Madison, Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford, Interim Selma Fire Chief Franklin Edwards, City Treasurer Terri Barnes-Smith, City Planning and Development Director Danielle Wooten, and Public Works Director Henry Hicks Sr. were among the Department heads that spoke.  All discussed about being understaffed and proposed money to hire and retain employees for a livable wage.

Perkins said that the Queen City can not function on a “pre-COVID” budget. He recommended a special election be called to increase the millage twice the current rate to generate more revenue. He also said that the city could force layoffs if it does not generate more revenue.

“I’m not trying to run for office,” Perkins said. “I’m trying to save our city. I’m just calling it like it is.”

The city will have until Aug. 1 to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.