Lanett road named in honor of former commissioner

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

CHAMBERS — Ross Dunn, civil rights pioneer, community leader and first African-American person to be elected to the Chambers County Commission is being memorialized in the area by way of roadway dedication.

At their meeting Monday night, the commission unanimously approved a resolution to establish Ross Dunn Boulevard on Magnolia Road in the West Shawmut community of Lanett, where Dunn resided. Members of his family, including his wife and commission successor Rosa Dunn, filled the commission chambers in thanks and support of the dedication.

Dunn was born in 1931 and attended Lanier High School in Lanett before moving on to Alabama State University, where he served for 20 years on the Board of Trustees. He represented District 1 for over 16 years and became the first commissioner from Chambers County to complete all levels of continued education at Auburn University’s Center for Governmental Services.

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Dunn was also a community leader, serving in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America and the Chambers County Boys and Girls Club. The resolution referenced his saying, “Plan your work and work your plan.”

Also at their meeting, the commission approved a resolution to accept a bid on new poll pads for the county. In the place of a physical book, iPads will be provided for voters to confirm their registration in a quick and digital fashion.

“This will provide easier operations for voting as far as checking in and having to sign a register,” County Attorney Skip McCoy said. “All this will be populated in regards to the individuals when they come in, and I think it will be more conducive for faster operations at the polling precincts.”

The iPads, loaded with specialized software from KNOW iNK, will cost $1,145 each and the commission plans to purchase 34 of them, 31 for each precinct with three in case backups are needed.

For the awards and proclamations handed out Monday night, Chase Cobb of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, or ACCA, was present to recognize John Holderfield, a past county employee who returned to help with a program.

The program was with the highway department, and Holderfield played a vital role in training workers to operate motor graders.

“I first want to thank the commission for lending us basically your whole highway department staff, your facilities in order for us to facilitate a motor-grader training operators program and course, Cobb said. “I came here to recognize John Holderfield who really volunteered his time, though he didn’t have to, his expertise and his many years of public service.”