Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Selma town council meeting
I again went to the Selma Town Council meeting tonight. They actually got out at a respectable hour compared to meetings previous. Mayor Hester did his best to play Robert Schuller and convince everyone in attendance that we should all only speak positive about Selma, not negative. Nice try, but I will continue to call them as I see them.
Some things that the council did that I agree with tonight:
1. Eliminate the deposit requirement for residential property owners/purchasers for utilities. Good. They are not the main problem with "no pays" anyway. It is ridiculous to require a $300+ deposit from them, anyway. They bought the house, they are most likely not going anywhere unless forclosed upon or death.
2. Renters are still going to pay a deposit. The deposit was raised by $100. I am not keen on the hike, but understand it. I do agree that renters are the major revenue loss when it comes to utility bill non payment. I just wish that the council would have the gonads to pass a resolution that renters must also have a "green card" if they are from out of the country in order to get utility service.
3. The town will be working towards a two billing cycle system for utility billing. Fine. Half the town on one cycle, the other on another. That will work.
4. The council did not pass a resolution to amend the 401(k) employer contribution to non law enforcement employees from 5% to 1%. Hey, look, if we are even going to offer a 401(k) program, don't insult the employees by lowering a pittance of an existing contribution to just 1%. I know that the town must seek to save money. I don't believe that this is the place to do so. Treat your employees right and you will retain them for the long haul. It will cost more in the long run to replace turnover. The resolution will instead be reconsidered at a later time, during budget considerations.
5. Council meetings will now start at 7:00PM instead of 7:30. Good move. I guess that Mr. Hester will now have to get the big white signs with red lettering altered.
6. The town is looking into options such as hiring a private firm to do our code enforcement. If it is economically feasible, then I am all for it. It may not be so, but it is good to investigate such.
There were a lot of things regarding zoning, water projects,, annexations, etc. Most details are known by the council but not by the public. I have one suggestion: make the same packets of info available to interested citizens that all council members, the mayor, and press get. It should be public record. I would be glad to get out more details as well as put proclamations and other info on the web for PR.