Outgoing Dothan commissioners expressed heartfelt, and at times, tearful goodbyes at their last city commission meeting followed by a reception in their honor on Tuesday while fellow commissioners and Mayor Mark Saliba complimented their service.
“This has been an awesome commission to serve with,” Saliba said. “I am very, very grateful for everyone that’s been a part of it.
I think we have done an extraordinary job of collaborating, compromising, and coming together so I’m grateful for that.”
District 2 Commissioner Janasky Fleming thanked God, his family and his constituents for the opportunity to serve and said his district was in good hands with Aristotle “Kat” Kirkland, who won the District 2 seat in a runoff election last week and has been a longtime friend of Fleming’s.
Albert Kirkland, who has represented District 3 for the last 11 years, became overwhelmed with emotion when addressing his fellow commissioners, who he said were like family to him.
“I’m honored to have been a part of it,” Kirkland said.
Bradley Bedwell, a certified public accountant, will be taking Kirkland’s position in October after winning his bid in the general election.
District 5 Commissioner Beth Kenward, known for her advocacy of the new Wiregrass Pet Rescue and Adoption Center and becoming the city’s first female city commissioner, lauded the Dothan community as the best town she’s ever lived in.
“When we need something or have a cause, people band together,” Kenward said. “They’re generous. They’re kind and I really appreciate that.”
She said her constituents are in good hands with incoming commissioner Gantt Pierce.
Newly-elected officials will take their seats on the Dothan City Commission at the first meeting in October.