Godwin seeks 2nd term as chairman

Published 12:02 am Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bill Godwin has announced his bid for a second term as chairman of the Covington County Commission.

Bill Godwin

Bill Godwin

When he sought his first term in 2012, Godwin stated that he would not seek a second term unless he could achieve a change in the administration and forward progress of the county as a whole. Because of the positive feedback he has received from citizens and voters from throughout the county, Godwin said he feels he has achieved this goal.

He said he would like to continue to build upon the success thus far achieved.

Godwin cited the following items as a reflection of that success:

• The business of the county is being done in public, in accordance with Alabama’s Open Meetings Law.

• An employee merit pay plan has been created and implemented.

• The county’s overall debt obligations have been reduced (more than $7 million) while at the same time, county services have been expanded. For instance, the jail capacity has been increased by 40 beds, and the approximately $1 million project was completed using current revenues.

• The budgeting process has been modified so that department heads are more fully engaged in developing their budgets.

Godwin said his future goals for the county include:

• To move the county into a “pay as you go” plan, therefore reducing the necessity of borrowing to a very limited basis. This has already been partially achieved by reducing the years from five to three when financing equipment and vehicles.

• To pave short sections of existing dirt roads to accommodate the greatest number of households per mile, so they are connected to an existing paved road.

• To replace equipment and vehicles on a rotational basis.

• To assure that the county’s technology (software and hardware) is replaced in a timely manner so that it is never more than three years old.

To achieve this success for the county, Godwin said he has utilized both the leadership skills from his military training and the leadership courses he has attended, such as the Agriculture and Forestry Leadership program of Auburn University. To further enhance his leadership abilities, he has completed 120 hours of instruction with the Alabama Association of County Commissioners.

Godwin’s finance and management skills come from a background of 45 years as a successful farmer and as owner of two other agricultural businesses. His degree in engineering from Auburn University and service with the U.S. Army as a construction engineer have helped him to understand and provide viable solutions to correct the problems associated with the county roads, as road maintenance and construction are essential for the county to grow economically.

Except for his years of college and military active duty (28 months) he has lived continuously in Covington County. Godwin served with the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam, and retired as a lieutenant colonel after 28 years. His education includes a degree in agricultural engineering with a management minor form Auburn University.

Godwin has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of leadership roles in the past. These included a six-year term on the Covington County School Board, a two-year term as moderator of Covington Baptist Association, and a term on the board of directors of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.

He is also a member of Gideons International, and has served the local camp in nearly every office over the last 20 years.

Currently, he is serving his 38th year as a supervisor of the Covington County Soil and Water District. He also served on the Covington County Board of Equalization for seven years. He is a member of Civitan, Rotary and the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, as well as Pleasant Home Baptist Church.

He and his wife, Judy, have been married for 50 years. They have four adult children, all of whom are residents of Covington County. Steve (Debbie) Godwin farms; Leigh (Eugene) Powell teaches at Straughn Elementary School; Kristi Powell teaches at Pleasant Home School; and Dr. Gabrielle (John) Baldwin, is a pediatrician at Covington Pediatrics.

The Godwins have 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Joshua, Taylor and Cassidy Godwin; Haydn Powell (Jamey)) Greene; Garrett (Abigail) Powell; Ethan and Chelsea Powell; Jared (Hannah) Powell and son, Carson; Kaleb Powell; and River and Hunter Baldwin.