Wiggins, White confirmed as commission chairman, vice chair

Published 10:06 am Monday, January 8, 2024

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In a unanimous vote, Raymond Wiggins was confirmed as chairman for the Escambia County Commission Monday. The vote was also unanimous to confirm the appointment of Larry White as the county’s vice-chairman for the group.
The nominations had previously been made with an opportunity for further nominations on Monday during the Commission’s regular meeting. With no additional nominations presented, commissioners approved the appointment of Wiggins and White to the two positions respectively.
Wiggins and White will serve in their positions for one year and will continue to serve the citizens of their districts as well.
In other business Monday, the Commission also approved the bid for the AS400 upgrades for the county’s computer systems with HiComp LLC. County Administrator Ron Cink thanked the commission for the approval which will be of great benefit to the county.
“This upgrade is really good for us,” Cink said. “It means that if we have any catastrophic issues, we would only be down for an hour. That is excellent for our system in that we would have the ability to have an off-site backup to rely upon.”
Commissioners also heard a report from Assistant Engineer Brad Solomon regarding the Rebuild Alabama annual activity.
In the report, Solomon noted that 11.10 miles of county roads were resurfaced using Rebuild Alabama funding.
Nearly five miles were resurfaced on Upper Creek Road costing $800,259.54 using County Rebuild Alabama Funds. Hoomesville Road (Cty. Rd. 72) had just over five miles resurfaced at a cost of $752,938.28 using County Rebuild Alabama Funds.  A one mile stretch of County Rd. 69 (Damascus Road) was also resurfaced using Federal funds for the project. County Rd. 72 and County Rd. 69 have shoulder work left to complete, Solomon said.
Of the $1.55 million used for those two projects, County funds of $116,222.91 were used in addition to the Rebuild Alabama Funding to complete those projects.
The Commission also approved the appointment of Sheriff Heath Jackson to serve the remainder of the 911 Board term of Larry Padgett. The appointment was made effective following the vote  (Jan. 8) and will continue through the term set to expire on Aug. 12, 2026.
Jackson will take the position due to the resignation of E911 Board Member Larry Padgett.
Steven Dickey, District 1 Commissioner, said Padgett’s resignation from the position required appointment of a replacement.
“Mr. Padgett just recently began this term but said he had done some re-thinking and decided it would be best to resign,” Dickey said. “After I thanked him for his service, I did a little research and saw that many county’s have a sheriff on their boards. I think it would be good to have Sheriff Jackson serve in that role.”
Larry White agreed that Padgett had served the county well and offered his thanks.
“Mr. Padgett has been a dedicated servant over the years for Escambia County,” White said. “We worked together on many things and we are certainly going to miss him. He has made many great contributions to Escambia County.”