Citizen Removed From Town Council Meeting

SELMA – A citizen, apparently upset about a rezoning case being discussed by the Selma Town Council, was removed from the meeting.

Town council members were discussing a rezoning application for three adjacent tracts of land, totaling 12.5 acres, in the 1300 block of N. Webb Street.

The applicant, Clifton Ray Moore of Selma, had petitioned the council to rezone the property from the current Residential (R-8) and General Business (GB) classifications to Transitional Residential (TR). Mr. Moore reportedly wants to develop multi-family houses on the property in the future.

Two citizens spoke in opposition of the request, citing concerns over traffic and devaluing surrounding properties, during the public comments section of the hearing.

After the public comments section had been closed, Councilman William Overby made a motion to approve the rezoning, which was seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Joe Scarboro.

Before the council had the opportunity to vote, a woman in the audience reportedly said, “I make a motion to punch you in the stomach!”

A town employee, seated nearby, turned to the woman and asked her to leave, but she did not comply. Police Chief J.A. Hughes then asked the woman to step outside, and she complied.

Chief Hughes later said he did not hear the woman’s comments. After she went outside, she immediately left, the police chief said.

After the meeting, those in attendance who heard the comments, were unsure if they were directed towards the town council and mayor discussing the rezoning, or the applicant.

Mayor Byron McAllister said he didn’t hear the statement, nor did he know the person.

“Some staff members in the audience believed the threat was being made toward an applicant involved in the N. Webb Street rezoning public hearing that had just closed. I do not personally know the individual. In any case, threats of violence of any sort are not acceptable at Town of Selma meetings. We do not intend to ban this individual from future meetings, but our Town of Selma Police Department will always remove disruptive or threatening individuals from Town of Selma public proceedings. This individual made a couple of unfortunate comments in the midst of a moment where passions were running high. People make mistakes. I hope this individual will reflect on the evening and learn a valuable lesson from it. We should all practice patience and restraint when working through our government matters,” Mayor McAllister told The Johnston County Report.

The rezoning case was ultimately denied in a 2-to-1 vote.

Mayor McAllister said he did not understand why the property owner wished to rezone from RA-8 to TA because the rezoning classifications are so similar. The applicant can bring the rezoning request back before the town council in the future.


  1. The case was decided on a 2-1 vote? Where was the rest of the council? What’s the point of electing officials if they don’t show up? #VoteOutIncumbents

  2. No more dense housing in Selma. No more low income housing in Selma. Already have too much. Smithfield wouldn’t let it happen and now look at Selma.

Comments are closed.