New Selma city budget cuts departments, jobs

There is controversy in Selma over the new city budget.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT
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SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - After months of debating, the city of Selma passed a budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but it did not come without major cuts.

Departments like recreation, tax and license, legal and building inspections were among those that were dissolved.

There were also 27 job cuts, including the assistant chief’s position at Selma Police Department, which makes a total loss of 57 jobs. Thirty were vacant due to lack of retention.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. expressed his concern during a press conference Wednesday.

“You’ve got who are adamant about passing it, knowing what has been cut in it,” Perkins said.

The mayor said he believes workers’ pay increases are what influenced the council’s decision.

The City Council agreed to raise the worker’s minimum wage to $12 an hour.

A council member came forward and said she did not know all of the specifics in the budget.

“I voted because I wanted you all to get the raise,” said Ward 4 Councilwoman Lesia James, “I didn’t get this in time enough to read.”

The council members who voted for the budget said there was justification in the budget cuts.

“Some departments would have to be cut to sustain the salaries,” said Ward 7 Councilwoman Jannie Thomas.

Some council members are suggesting to forfeit or cut their wages to help get some of the jobs back.

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