Andalusia District 4 councilman steps down

Published 9:15 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

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The Andalusia City Council on Tuesday accepted the retirement resignation of Councilman Ralph Wells, who has represented District 4 since 2012.

Ralph Wells

Wells, who retired from Carquest (formerly Taylor Parts), was re-elected in 2016 and again in 2020, this time without opposition.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have earned the confidence of my friends and neighbors who have trusted me to represent them on the Andalusia City Council since 2012,” Wells said in tendering his retirement notice to the City. “In the past 11 years, we have accomplished many great things. I am particularly proud of the City’s solid financial position, the improvements we have made to the infrastructure, and our reinvestment in downtown. Andalusia has a rich, storied history, and it is important that we preserve the parts that we can while continuing to improve our community.”

Mayor Earl Johnson and members of the Council expressed their appreciation to Wells for his service to the City and said that he held them to a higher standard.

“Ralph has been a great member of the City Council,” Mayor Johnson said. “He made good use of his business background as the council made many decisions about financing and spending, and we are a better city because of his work.”

Councilman Terry Powell said, “Ralph has meant more to this city than most residents will ever know.”

Councilman Kennith Mount said he first met Wells when they lived in the same apartment complex as Auburn University students.

“It’s like Ralph’s on a pedestal, and I try to be as good as he is,” Mount said. “He knew more about budgeting than I knew there was to know. He has always been a good friend to me.”

Councilman Joe Nix also expressed his appreciation of the fellow councilman.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve with him on the council, especially because of the closeness of our families,” he said, adding that the Nix and Wells families’ association goes back many years.

Councilwoman Hazel Griffin also expressed her appreciation to Wells for the professionalism and expertise he brought to his work with the Council.

“We often talked about issues that came up with the city,” she said. “I trusted his opinion and valued his judgment.”

When Wells first sought office, he said he was born, reared and educated in the city, and was given many opportunities because members of the community took time to teach and lead him. By 2012, he was ready to give back.

“I intend to listen well, to represent the people’s opinions in earnest, to make decisions after careful evaluation, to be honest and not take myself too seriously,” he said at that time. “I am not a politician, I am not seeking a higher position, I do not have an agenda. I just want to get involved in the community. I have been on the sidelines too long.”

Wells was also a former baseball standout who was drafted from Auburn University to play for the Atlanta Braves in 1966. During his time on the council, he also has been a strong advocate for improved recreational facilities. The City Council plans to name its new batting facility in Johnson Park for him.

After receiving his retirement resignation, the Council had to adopt a resolution declaring the District 4 seat vacant. The Council now has 60 days to appoint someone to the seat.