Former superintendent elected Florala mayor

Published 2:59 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Former Covington County Superintendent Terry Holley was elected mayor of Florala Tuesday.

holley-terryHolley defeated current Councilman Marvin Williford, 242 to 227, in Tuesday’s runoff.

Holley commended Williford for a good race.

“We had a very clean race, and were very supportive of each other,’ Holley said. “At the outbreak of everything, we said whoever got it, we’d know it was somebody who really cares about Florala.”

Holley said he hopes to bring the new council together for some workshop meetings before the new administration takes over in November. Only one incumbent will return to office.

“I would like to make some strategic plans for the first 100 days,” Holley said. “I also want to consider what we heard from people voting in the city limits. Marvin and I asked everybody, ‘What changes do you want? What can we do to improve?’ ”

Holley said he also wants to look at a strategic plan written eight years ago, evaluate it, and hit the floor running.

“The mayor can’t do anything by himself, and neither can the council,” he said. “In the next four years, I hope we’ll continue to work closely together to move forward.”

He said the city needs to address some issues to clean up the town, but also needs to take advantage of its assets.

“In DeFuniak, they have Christmas around lake,” he said. “We could do that, too. We need to be planning for three or four years down the road.

In four years, he said, Florala will play host to the 150th consecutive masonic celebration, known locally as the 24th of June celebration.

“We need to start preparing for that, and we need to get support from the governor, and from the mayors and councils of other cities in Covington County to support each other.

“We need to work closely with our Masons, because they have given a lot back,” he said.

Florala residents also elected Sylvia Ann Wallace-Patton to the council in District 1 on Tuesday. She will join Gayle Robbins, Deborah Inabinett, Jeff Burleson and Sue Mathis.

Williford led a field of three in the Aug. 23rd election, and was ahead of Holley by 15 votes, the same margin that separated them Tuesday. There were 70 more votes cast this week in the mayor’s race than in August.