Godwin announces candidacy for commission chairman

Published 6:47 pm Friday, January 3, 2020

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Bill Godwin announces his candidacy for election as chairman of the Covington County Commission, subject to the Republican primary election on March 3, 2020.

His focus will be on leadership, the key to helping Covington County move forward to achieve its potential for economic development and to secure the quality of life its citizens deserve. A coordinated effort by both public and private sectors is necessary to achieve this goal. Essential to this effort are entities such as PowerSouth, Southeast Alabama Gas District, Covington County Economic Development Commission and the cities of Andalusia, Opp, Florala and our surrounding smaller towns. These entities and others like them make it possible for our businesses and personal lives to function successfully.

As an engineering graduate of Auburn University, a graduate of the Auburn Agricultural and Forestry Leadership Program, the Wiregrass Leadership Program, 28 years of service with the U.S. Army and graduating from the Command and General Staff College of the U.S. Army, Godwin has the background to be a major factor in this coordinated effort. His peers in the organizations in which he has served have consistently elevated him to top leadership roles in their organizations, locally and statewide.

Only effective leadership will end the diverseness between the county chairman and the county commissioners. Except in the case of a tie, the chairman does not vote on issues before the commission, but he is the key to promoting a consensus of action to be taken.

The County has limited resources with which to provide services needed for its citizens. Priorities must be set to achieve the best solutions. In Godwin’s previous term as chairman of the county commission (2012-2016,) there was a need for an upgrade to the present jail, which included providing additional space because of overcrowding. Godwin was able to provide a plan and leadership to the county commissioners to make possible a $1.1 million upgrade. This is the first time the commission had undertaken a building program of this magnitude without incurring or creating additional debt.

Road maintenance and construction is one of the main responsibilities of the commission. Godwin’s degree in agricultural engineering from AU and his experience in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers as a construction engineer gives him a good foundation from which to advise and assist the county engineer in providing this service.

Godwin recognizes that everyone’s time is valuable. It is important to us all to know what issues are to come before the commission. It is the chairman’s responsibility to provide an agenda for all meetings. At present, the agenda is very general and does not include who or what purpose an item is being considered. How can our citizens determine if they need or want to be present for the meetings if they do not know exactly what is being considered? Folks who have an interest in an issue may even have to take off work – often without pay – to attend meetings. We all need more specific information offered to the public.

As a lifetime resident of Covington County, Godwin has been blessed to be a public servant on many levels. He is a prior chairman of the commission, served on the Covington County School Board, Covington County Baptist Association Moderator and is a retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. He is presently in his 42nd year of service on the Covington County Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Godwin and his wife, Judy, have been married 54 years. They are the parents of four children, Steve Godwin, Leigh Powell, Kristi Hildreth and Dr. Gabrielle Baldwin, all of whom are graduates of the Covington County School System and reside in Covington County. Godwin and Judy have eleven grandchildren and six (soon to be eight,) great-grandchildren.

Godwin would appreciate your support of his candidacy and your vote on March 3, 2020.