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Fond farewell: Commission bids adieu to outgoing members

Monday evening’s Dallas County Commission meeting was filled with farewells as the three outgoing commissioners were recognized for their service to Dallas County and the commission appointed a new county engineer to replace Coosa Jones who will soon be retiring from the position after 38 years.

The three outgoing commissioners are: Valerie Reubin, District 1; Roy Moore, District 2; and Larry Nickles, District 4.

As the three commissioners prepare to leave their seats, the commission will lose a combined 44 years of experience – Moore having 28, Nickles having 12 and Reubin having 4.

A reception was held for Moore, Nickles and Reubin following the regular commission meeting and each outgoing commissioner was given a plaque for their service to the county.

As Reubin accepted her plaque, she said that despite no longer being an elected official, she would continue to serve as a Dallas County Representative for Keep Alabama Beautiful alongside Selma City Councilwoman Janie Thomas.

During her tenure as the first woman to serve on the Dallas County Commission, Reubin organized several clean-up efforts around Dallas County and was constantly bringing attention to the area’s more heavily soiled areas.

“I just thank God for this day, I thank God for the four years [as a commissioner] he gave to me and I thank God for me, making history. The first female, black or white, ever elected [to the commission]. I believe that if [God] wanted me back on the commission I would be, but there must be something else he wants me to do.”

After Reubin, Nickles was next to receive his plaque and offered words of advice to the three incoming commissioners.

“Remember to pray to God that you make the right decision so you can wake up and feel good about it,” he said. “We leave without remorse. We’re just closing one page of the book and moving on.”

Finally, Moore accepted his plaque for 28 years of service to Dallas County.

Moore reflected on nearly three decades with the commission and said he was proud to leave the county in good financial condition and that the incoming commission had a great opportunity to continue growth for Dallas County.

“This new commission that’s coming on, I can’t say enough about them. I like and I love each and every one of them. I think they’re going to do a great job,” said Moore. “The table is really set for them. We have bond issues from the last 20 years. We’ve paid almost all of these bond issues off. Now there’s room for new growth, especially with our county roads…”

During the regular meeting, the commission nominated and appointed Heath Sexton to fill the role long held by Jones as the new Dallas County Engineer.

Sexton already has experience in Dallas County, serving as the Assistant County Engineer for the last 12 years.

Sexton’s new role with the county creates a vacancy for an Assistant County Engineer position which the commission said they hope to fill soon.

At the end of Jones’ regular departmental report, each Dallas County Commissioner had kind words to say to Jones about his nearly four decades of service to Dallas County.

“Thank you for your service to Dallas County,” said Reubin. “38 years… You didn’t come to Dallas County looking for a job, you came looking for a career. Heath [Sexton], I hope you’re looking for a career, not a job.”

“Mr. Coosa Jones is noted as one of the better engineers in the state of Alabama by reputation. From other engineers.” said Nickles. “I hear that everywhere I go. If you trained Mr. Heath [Sexton] up to your standards, we’re going to be alright.”

“I’d just like to thank all the commissioners, present and past, for all of the good things they’ve done for me,” said Jones.