Mandatory neckties pushed for Selma Council

FRESNO, Calif.

"As a politician I need to represent to the best of my ability and look good while doing so." He told Action News.

As Mayor Pro Tem, a position sort of like the vice president, Rodriguez is also a member of the City Council. He's pushing an ordinance to make all five council members wear a tie to council meetings. We asked him about the proposal.

Do you think a tie says something? I asked.
"Definitely." He said.
What does it say? I asked.
"Professional" He said.
You think that's the way to go? I asked.
"Yeah." He answered.

But that's a problem for fellow council member and former Mayor, Dennis Lujan. We visited him at his barbershop in downtown Selma. "I've been on the Council 28 years. I've maybe worn a suit and tie ten times." Lujan said. "I'm a barber. This is the way I dress except for my tie that I have on today."

Lujan referred to the tuxedo t-shirt he was wearing to poke fun at Rodriguez' idea. "Everybody's had a good laugh about it." He said.

But Rodriguez isn't laughing.

You don't see the humor in it? I asked.

"I don't see the humor in it knowing this is Selma. I'm one of five people that represent this city at a level where we need to be taken seriously." Rodriguez said.

In downtown Selma we asked folks on the street what they thought of the necktie plan. Lydia Herrera, a senior citizen told us, "That would be wonderful because it makes you look important. Yes, that should be changed for everybody." She said.

But others' aren't so sure. Mirca Moreno and Nicole Lefore, two 20 something's who work in Selma laughed out loud when we asked them if the council members should be required to wear neckties. "No, I don't think we really care." Lefore said. "That's actually a funny question. That's what they are actually thinking of? Moreno asked. Lefore added, "Don't they have bigger issues than whether they have neckties or not?"

Lujan thinks they do. But Rodriguez is pushing on and hopes to bring this to a vote.

In addition to making everyone wear ties, Rodriquez wants to be able to send any council member home who isn't in dress code. It's perhaps not surprising that he works as an administrator in a middle school.

Lujan said that rule sounds like something you would tell a third grader who was wearing an inappropriate T Shirt to class.

Rodriguez asked City Manager D.B. Heusser to research the matter and hopes to bring it up for a vote in the coming weeks.

Heusser told Action News he is "looking into it." But added, "It's not a top priority."

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