Lynne Holmes sworn in to fill late husband’s seat on commission

Published 9:15 am Saturday, April 15, 2023

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Lynne Holmes was sworn in as a member of the Covington County Commission Tuesday to fulfill the remaining term of her late husband, Tony Holmes.

Holmes was one of four Covington County residents who applied for the Dist. 3 seat after Tony Holmes passed away from an illness in February. She was selected by Governor Kay Ivey from a list that also included Randall Copeland, Larry Stallings, and Newton Peters.

“I predict Lynne Holmes will be a leader and a beacon on this commission who will quickly become involved in the business of Covington County and someone who the people will be able to turn to for assistance and representation. Additionally, there is no doubt she will stand up for the people and the people’s business. One word best describes her: fearless,” Ivey said.

Retired District Judge Trippy McGuire performed the swearing-in ceremony.

“The Holmes family has meant a lot to me, and we have been close for over 30 years. I thought a lot of Tony who was a great man, and I’m so proud Lynne is going to pick up the torch he left and carry on his legacy and do some unfinished business. Lynne will do a good job of coming in and finishing up the job Tony started. I know he would be extremely proud to have his wife take his place,” McGuire said.

While Holmes said it was difficult to cope with the loss of her husband, she feels honored to be chosen to fill the remainder of his term.

“This means the world to me. He loved Covington County. When he wanted to run the first term, I was against it because I don’t like politics. Serving is fine, but politics is not something I enjoy. I kept telling him he didn’t need to do this, but he told me he could make a difference. I couldn’t comprehend that, but as time went by, I saw where he was making a difference. Other commissioners told me what a difference he made to them. He was meant to do this, and to be able to sit in his seat is an absolute honor,” she said.

She has hopes of moving forward with the projects Tony showed the most interest in.

“There is some paving in Dist. 3 that needed to be done, and money had been allotted for it. I want to see if that has been completed or at least started. He was always concerned with our roads even though we are not road commissioners anymore. He was concerned about budget issues that had accumulated in Covington County over the years. The last two commissions have done their best to eliminate as much of the debt as they could.”

Holmes added that the county’s needs are schools, federal money, and building projects.

“We need to look at where our schools are. I know there is money from the government that is going to be used here at the county administration building. I understand they are going to add to the jail. We need to see where we are, see the costs involved, and how to spend what monies are available.”

While she is unsure of the status of Dist. 3 following Tony’s passing two months ago, citizens have reached out to her.

“I had a gentleman call a week after he passed away and say his roads were not too good. He asked for someone to come look but was unaware Tony had passed. I know he was shocked, and I felt really sorry for him, but I went ahead and called the Engineer’s office to tell them. With the rain we’ve had recently, I know some roads are going to be a mess. About half a dozen regulars have contacted me with needs. It’s not going to hurt to call them now that I’ve been sworn in. I would like to use those same people as eyes and ears in isolated areas. Dist. 3 is the largest land area in Covington County with 222 miles of dirt roads,” Holmes said.

She stated she could relate to her district’s concern about the status of their roads for safety purposes.

“You want to be safe, and we have lived on a dirt road for 49 years. I certainly understand what it’s like. There have been times I’ve gotten in the ditch, and Tony had to pull me out with the tractor. We have a good engineer, assistant, and supervisor. Between all these folks, we should be able to handle it, and I want them to be happy about it. As long as you’re doing what you said you would do and listening to citizens’ needs, it shouldn’t matter who the commissioner is.”

Tony and Lynne Holmes have four children: Brett (Lori) Holmes, Brandy (Paul) Hudson, Dr. Amanda (Chris) Inabinett, and Ashley (Justin) Morgan. They also have five grandchildren: Andrew Holmes, Rylynne Inabinett, Audrey Inabinett, Avery Morgan, and Ashlyn Morgan.

The current term for the Dist. 3 seat will be up for election in 2024.