Wiggins returns as the chairman
Reynolds named Atmore's municipal judge
August 13, 2020
Raymond Wiggins has returned as the full time chairman of the Escambia County (Ala.) Commission following the resignation of Chairman Karean Reynolds and an announcement Monday by Commission Vice Chairman Brandon Smith that he was not in a position to take the full time position.
Wiggins is currently in his 12th year on the commission and will begin his fourth term following the November General Election, where he is running unopposed. He also served as chairman from 2016 to 2020.
Each year, the five members of the commission select one of the five to serve as the full time chairman. Last year, the commission voted to name Reynolds as chairman for 2020 and he took over in January.
However, Reynolds recently announced he would be resigning as chairman effective Aug. 9., but noted he would continue to serve as the District 5 representative on the commission.
Reynolds resignation was tied to the Atmore City Council's vote Monday to appoint Reynolds as the city's municipal judge.
Reynolds said he studied the code of Alabama and since the law lists the chairman as a full time position, he couldn't accept the part-time position as Atmore's city judge.
“I think I can do more as a municipal judge to help the people of Atmore than as chairman of the county commission,” Reynolds said. “I will continue to represent the Atmore area on the commission, but just not as the chairman.
Reynolds is a native of Atmore and a 2001 graduate of Escambia County High School. He joined the Army and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated from the Birmingham School of Law in 2017 and was admitted to the bar association the same year.
During an administrative workshop last Tuesday, Smith said he would take the chairmanship if that's what the rest of the commission wanted. This past Monday he said he'd do what the commission wants, but that he felt it was best he not accept the position.
“It's been an honor for me to serve with you guys, whether in this capacity since 2008 or as chairman,” Smith said. “Being chairman is not what I deserve due to my schedule. Serving the people of Escambia County and being the most productive to them is what I want. It would be better if I didn't have it.”
Smith noted that a new commissioner will be coming on board in the next several weeks to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Commissioner David Stokes and he said he hopes the entire commission will work together.
“If we all work together, it will be a positive outcome for the entire county,” Smith said.
Reynold's then made a motion to name Wiggins as the new chairman and received a second from Commissioner Scottie Stewart. The motion carried unanimously.
Wiggins thanked Commissioner Reynolds for the job he did while serving as chairman.
“I appreciate the confidence you have in putting me back in that position,” Wiggins said.
Reynolds also thanked his fellow commissioners for having the confidence in naming his as chairman, saying he learned a lot and looked forward to continue serving as a commissioner.