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County commission honors Stokes for years of service

Escambia County Commissioners on Monday honored David Stokes for his time on the commission representing District 1.

Chairman Raymond Wiggins said Stokes has served the people of Escambia County for many years and thanked him for his service.

“David worked on the commission for 29 years and six months,” Wiggins said. “That’s a long time to serve the public and we thank him for everything he did while serving on the commission. He stepped down when he was experiencing some health issues and had to have some surgery. We wanted to wait until he was well to have him here for this presentation.”

Stokes, who was accompanied by his wife, Debbie, thanked the commission for “putting up with him” for so many years.

“This was totally unnecessary, but I am grateful,” Stokes said. “All of the thank yous start with my wife. She has been with me every step of the way. I didn’t take much home with me, but when I did she was right there for me.”

Stokes also thanked Steven Dickey, his replacement at the table representing District 1.

“Thank you for being willing to step up,” Stokes said. “That brings me to thank (Gov.) Kay Ivey and Lindsey Graham for appointing you to fill that position. Steven has been here only a short time, but he is impactful in his work. After 29 years, I was anxious about how this would perpetuate, but having Steven in the position is a good thing.”

Debbie Stokes said the time her husband was on the commission has spanned a lot of things over the years.

“Our first meeting happened while I was pregnant with (daughter) Elizabeth Ann,” Debbie said. “And she just had a baby four days ago. Over the years a lot of people have come and gone. Everything comes full circle. It was a great ride and he truly lived it.”

David said his time on the commission was enjoyable and he feels blessed to have been a part of the group.

“I have been blessed by God tremendously,” Stokes said. “I’m glad to be above ground. Thank you all for what you put up with for 29 years a six months.”

In other business, the commission:

• Approved the appointment of Jim Johnson to fill the seat on the Escambia County Healthcare Authority left vacant with the passing of Ruth Harrell;

• Approved the annual certifications and assurances for FTA assistance. County Administrator Tony Sanks said the approval was necessary in order for the county to receive Federal funds associated with the ECATS program. The approval shows that the county will comply with federal policy for the program;

• Approved an extension of employee COVID leave policies. Dickie said he believes that the leave will be extended retroactively at the federal level in the coming weeks. Sanks said that he also expects congress to take steps to extend the leave policy, but in order for county employees to continue to receive the benefits from the leave, the county had to pass the extension until the extension is approved nationally.