Citizens’ Concerns highlight Selma City Council meeting

Published 7:13 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

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The Citizens’ Concerns took center stage at the Selma City Council meeting on Tuesday.

City Council President Billy Young, council members Christie Thomas, Troy Harvill, Lesia James, Clay Carmichael, Atkin Jemison, Sam Randolph and Jannie Thomas were present at the meeting in Council Chambers.

Betty Boynton discussed City Limits in GWC Homes and not having cameras.  Boynton also wanted protection for her 90-something mother, who lived in the area.

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Faya Toure discussed racial issues and brought Confederate flags. She said its unfair that the flags are displayed.

Former Selma City Councilman Tom Headley spoke about finishing the Job, which he said the Selma County Council between 2008 and 2016 failed to do.

Headley recommended the current city council pass the forwarded 2024 Fiscal Budget recently presented to them by Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr.

“We have no credit rating,” Headley said. “That makes the Mayor’s job selling the city harder. The city council need to pass this budget.”

Toward the end of Headley’s five-minute talk, Toure interrupted. She accused Headley of having more than five minutes. She was warned by Young. When Toure did not, she was escorted out of the Council chambers by two Selma Police Department officers.

Former Selma City Treasurer Ronita spoke about Due process for demolition of dilipidated houses and Race Street.  Wade said the house she owned on 2312 Water Avenue was torn down without proper notification.  Wade said she talked to Code Enforcement but received no follow-up.

Randolph said the matter should be investigated.

Willie Thomas Jr. discussed the Songs of Selma Park and its poor condition.  Thomas said people from Paris, France, Ghana and other parts of America are often after they cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge to see the Splash Pad closed.

Councilwoman Jannie Thomas said $10,000 was supposed to go toward the park by the previous city council, but never did.

The Citizens’ Concern that drew the most attention was Snow’s Cleaning Service owner LeMarkus A. Snow,  who discussed the neglect of City of Selma Maintenance. “We have an Executive Branch, a Legislative Branch, Department heads, Supervisors and Committees , how can Selma continue to fail year in and year out,” Snow said.

Perkins responded before his Mayor’s report, pointing out Public works has less than 25 employees. “We’re  trying to do things the right way,”  Perkins said. “We do background checks people, drug test them. We hire them and they have to be trained. I’ll defend the Public Works Department.