Sparks flew at finance committee meeting

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Finance Committee Meeting between the Selma City Council and Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. had a few fireworks.

The entire City Council was present: Selma City Council President Billy Young, Council members Troy Harvill, Christie Thomas, Atkin Jemison, Lesia James, Jannie Thomas, Michael Johnson, Sam Randolph, Clay Carmichael.

The Fiscal Year 2024 Budget   proposed by Perkins took center stage at the meeting.

Email newsletter signup

Harvill, Chairperson of the Finance Committee, discussed  the Non-Recurring items with Perkins.

The non-recurring items on Perkins’ proposed budget included: $4.1 million: American Rescue Fund, $2 million excess and Special Election ($100,000).

But the highlight of the meeting was a $2.7 million shortfall that Harvill roughly drew up in his number crunching.  That would bring Perkins’ proposed budget from $22.6 million to $19.9 million.

“Where is that money going to come from?” Perkins asked.

Perkins asked each of the city council members were willing to layoff city employees or eliminate jobs.

Jannie Thomas, Jemison, James, Randolph, Johnson all said no. Christie Thomas declined comment.

Harvill replied: “The Mayor and I should bust our butts and work it out.”

Young and Carmichael each gave detailed responses.

“I’m prepared to cut empty positions and there are other places we can cut,” Carmichael said.

Young delivered a unique response.

“This is not a poll, Mayor,” Young said. “I asked you about numbers, not how you feel. This is where we get off the rails.”

The other issue that came up, deadline to vote on proposed budget, which was Tuesday.  Neither side could meet last Wednesday and Thursday because Harvill and Perkins were not available on those days.

Jemison said if those meetings took place, a budget agreement may have taken place by August 1.  Young disagreed, saying the meeting needed both Harvill and Perkins present.

“If ifs and buts  were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas, “ Harville said.

The actual deadline to pass the 2024 Budget is September 30