Selma, Ala. (WSFA) - Selma’s Mayor is responding to two separate motions passed by the city council this week. One had to do with a vote of “no confidence” against Mayor Darrio Melton and the other is to bring back employees that were laid off last year due to ongoing financial issues the city faces.
Mayor Melton confirms he was not at Tuesday’s council meeting but is aware of these two motions that were passed. He says these votes were ceremonial votes -meaning they have no legal baring.
The council was split on the vote of “no confidence” taken against the mayor, but it ultimately passed with 4 “yes” votes.
Here is a breakdown of the votes:
- “Yes” Votes: Samuel Randolph - Ward 5, Miah Jackson - Ward 3, Angela Benjamin - Ward 4, and Jannie Thomas - Ward 7
- Abstain: Corey Bowie-Council President and Michael Johnson-Ward 8
- Pass: Carl Bowline-Ward 1 and Johnnie Leashore Ward 6
- Susan Youngblood Ward 2 (Not Present)
“I think it is very important that the public understand one of the things many members of the council have towards this administration is that we are exposing a lot of corruption and a lot of darkness that has been going on in the city for such a long time. I would pay close attention to those who voted in favor of that vote and to see if they may be tied to some of this corruption,” said Mayor Melton.
All council members were on the same page, voting unanimously in favor of bringing back more than 60 employees who have been laid off since November of last year.
Mayor Melton says the council doesn’t have that authority to hire or fire. He pointed out the reason these employees were laid off was because the city didn’t have the revenue and the council has made no effort to raise additional revenue.
“If we go back down that same road again we will end up in the same predicament where we are going months where we are not paying bills. Under this administration we are not going to allow that. We are not going to take services from companies and not pay them timely," said Melton. “I think the council is playing games and they’ve basically failed the citizens over these last three years.”
Nearly eight months after those mass layoff Melton says the city has caught up on the bills they were behind on, but they currently have an alarming low amount of funds in the reserves account.
“That is what this administration is trying to change. Change the pattern of living month to month when it comes to city government. We should have at least three to four months in our reserve account. Hear me and hear me well we only have $656 in our reserve account while the council is hollering we have money to bring employees back,” said Melton.
Mayor Melton says there are other needs the city has including new police cars and equipment improvements to the landfill.
“The council has not raised one dime of revenue since I have been mayor of this city yet they want the same services. What we have to add is which is very important is our police need cars but the council doesn’t have money to buy police cars. My landfill is about to be shut down, fined or shut down, by ADEM because we don’t have equipment out there but the council wants to bring back 68 employees. So they are okay with not having law enforcement and okay with the landfill being closed down, which is a health issue, but yet at the same time they say we have money to bring employees back. I think the council is blatantly just not being truthful with the public,” said Melton.
WSFA 12 News did reach out to every single council member that was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. They either declined to comment, were unavailable, or didn’t respond back.