County appoints administrator

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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Escambia County Commissioners agreed on an appointment to the position of county administrator Tuesday morning.

Ron Sink, who is currently serving as the budget director and county administrator for Baldwin County, will assume the position on May 15, according to Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins.

“Ron has 17 years experience in Baldwin County and I feel we will be in good hands with him in the position,” Wiggins said. “We are fortunate to find someone with experience who will come in and work for us.”

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Wiggins said Sink and his wife will be looking for a new home in Escambia County and make the move to become part of the county he will serve.

Sink will be replacing Tony Sanks who is retiring from the position with more than 28 years of service to the county.

Sanks said his retirement from the position will allow him to focus on family and other interests.

“I will work full time through May 19 and then work on a part-time basis to assist with the transition,” Sanks said. “I am confident he (Sink) will do a good job for the county, but when you take on a new position there are always differences in the way things are done. I will be here to help with that transition. I have known for a while that I would need to retire and now is a good time.”

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

  • approved the appointment of Marie Blair to the DHR Advisory Board. The recommendation for the appointment was made by Commissioner Larry White to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Margaret Silbernagel;
  • approved posting speed limits along a portion of Jack Springs Road. Commissioner Brandon Smith said the recommendation for posting speed limits was for an area of Jack Springs Road north of the McCullough/Booneville crossing. “There is a paved portion and a dirt portion of Jack Springs Road in a residential area that needs to be posted,” Smith said. “I recommend, with the input from our engineer, that the paved portion be posted at 25 miles per hour and the dirt section be posted at 15 miles per hour.”
  • approved the use of ARPA funding for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Wiggins said the funds had been put aside to use for infrastructure upgrades at the Escambia County Jail, but that time was an issue and the funds would not be able to be used for that purpose before the end of the deadline for funding use. “The sheriff has asked for funding for improvement of the communications system,” Wiggins said. “Along with a $1.2 million grant he has received, this additional funding would allow upgrading the entire system.” Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said the additional funding would bring about a big improvement in the communications system in the county, not just for the Sheriff’s Office, but for others as well.  “I think this will be one of your proudest moments when you see what this funding will do for our system,” Jackson said. “This will fix communications for fire departments, the sheriff’s office, EMS and others in the county. We have had to buy only what we could afford in the past. Another lightning strike, and we’d be dead in the water. This will put us in the field that will allow us to have some of the best communications in this county as you’ll find anywhere.”
  • heard from White concerning complaints in the Fanny Road/Welka Road area around the delays at main rail crossings in the area. White said he had reached out to officials to find a resolution for residents who are inconvenienced in those areas when trains are at a standstill. “I’m frustrated and I know everyone is,” White said. “When anyone has a complaint about delays at those crossings, they should call the right people to complain. We have no authority over those crossings, and the state has no authority. This is a federal issue.” White provided the toll-free number to register a complaint when delays are experienced in the area. Complainants should call 1-800-232-0144 and provide the crossing number associated with the complaint for delay. Alternately, complaints may be made by calling 334-242-6828 and speaking with Rita Barrett with the Alabama Department of Rail Safety.