By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
It wasn’t that long ago that Karean Reynolds became the first black attorney to join the Escambia County Bar Association. Monday, August 10, he became the city of Atmore’s first black municipal court judge.
Reynolds first gained unanimous council approval to replace Todd Stearns, who was recently appointed to replace retiring Escambia County Circuit Court Judge Dave Jordan.
“Being that our other judge got kicked upstairs, to Brewton, the city council has to appoint another municipal judge,” Mayor Jim Staff said prior to the vote. “My recommendation is that you appoint Karean Reynolds to that post.”
District Judge Eric Coale then administered the oath of office to Reynolds as his wife, Sherilyn, stood at his side, and his mother, Janice, stood proudly nearby. The new judge accepted the oath with his hand on a Bible that his wife said has belonged to her “since she was younger.”
The new judge expressed his appreciation to city officials, then promised that the municipal court’s future — and the city’s — were going to be bright.
“I just want say thank you to the city council and mayor for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “I will serve to the best of my ability and I look forward to the great things we are going to do in the city of Atmore.”
Sherilyn Reynolds said she has become accustomed to the long hours her husband, who is also an Escambia County Commissioner and conducts a private legal practice, puts in each day.
“I’m kind of used to it now,” she said, “and I’m really proud of him.”
Janice echoed those sentiments, saying, “I’m proud and I’m happy. I know he is.”
In other business, the council:
- Amended the July 13 meeting’s minutes to indicate that the council did not vote on a delegate to the recent League of Municipalities convention.
- Tabled the renewal of the city’s franchise agreement with Mediacom.
- Approved the list of poll workers for the upcoming municipal election. City Clerk Becca Smith said each of the election overseers, new and experienced, will have to attend an August 18 training class.
- Approved a 12-name list of board members for the city’s involvement in Main Street Alabama.
- Appointed Steven Shirley to replace Jim Johnson, who is stepping down, on the city’s utility board.
- Approved the use of Houston Avery Park for the fourth annual Christmas in the Park event. No date was announced.