Complex named for Mikel

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Andalusia City Council Tuesday officially named the sports complex adjacent to the Kiwanis Center the Dwight Mike Athletic Complex.

It was a suggestion made by Mayor Earl Johnson, who announced he planned to ask the council to do that during the Babe Ruth 12U World Series.

“Since I’ve gone out there and announced it to the world, I’d appreciate it if you’d make it official,” he quipped to council members.

The mayor pointed out that this is a separate facility from Johnson Park, which will remain unchanged. Johnson cited Mikel’s promotion of the city, which has hosted two Babe Ruth World Series tournaments and nine Babe Ruth Southeast Region tournaments during his time as the city’s director of leisure services, a job he’s held since 1993.

“I’m unbelievably excited,” Mikel said Tuesday night. “I don’t know that I deserve it. A lot of people worked very hard through the years who’ve helped me have whatever success we’ve had.”

Mikel said he’s never been keen on naming facilities for people, and certainly never dreamed he’d see his own name on one.

Johnson quoted former SEC football official Dick Burleson, who spoke on leadership at this past weekend’s state Kiwanis convention in Andalusia.

“He said if you’re a good leader, some of the things you do will make some folks mad,” Johnson said. “If you don’t, you’re probably not leading.

“Dwight hasn’t shrunk from that in doing the right thing for the city,” he said.

Councilman Will Sconiers said he’s known Mikel since high school, when the two played football together.

“He’s always puts everything he has in what he’s doing,” Sconiers said.

In other business, the council made the following board appointments:

• To the Historic Preservation Authority – Alan Cotton, David Fuqua and Ann Christensen

• To the Board of Zoning Adjustments – Larry Avery and Willie Locke.