FOLEY - Foley Mayor John Koniar was honored at the Monday, Oct. 19 council meeting, his final meeting as mayor. Along with a proclamation for his time in service, a commendation from Governor Kay …
FOLEY - Foley Mayor John Koniar was honored at the Monday, Oct. 19 council meeting, his final meeting as mayor. Along with a proclamation for his time in service, a commendation from Governor Kay Ivey, a shadowbox created by city staff commemorating his public service, and speeches made by guests and councilmembers, the council approved a final surprise: naming a street in his honor. Koniar Way, Foley’s newest road, is a north-south connector from County Road 20 to Kenny Stabler Avenue near the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen’s Market. The city plans for the road to be completed by the end of the year.
“We talked to all the council about this and if it should be street, avenue, what, and they said they think it needs to be Koniar Way,” said Mayor-elect Ralph Hellmich. “The reason why is because he had a way of handling government and working with everybody, and we felt that was most appropriate … John has his opinion but he likes for everybody to work together, and it’s something that we’ve all learned from here in Foley. I think it makes our city better.”
Koniar began his career in public service in 1980, serving as a councilmember representing District 3. He served as mayor pro-tem from 1996 to 2006, before being appointed to serve the remainder of former Mayor Timothy Russel’s term of office. When he began serving in 1980, Foley had approximately 4,000 residents and a budget of approximately $1.5 million. He’s leaving office with an estimated population in Foley of 25,000 and a budget of just under $50 million.
“All my adult life Foley has been a model for the other cities in the county,” said Representative Steve McMillan. “They’ve always had a stable government with not a lot of adverse publicity, and a lot of that I think is attributable to the employees and the staff that we’ve had through the years, but certainly John’s 40 years have been a major part of that.”
“It’s been overwhelming and very much appreciated what’s been said and done tonight,” said Koniar. “The council and I could not do it without the employees, we have the best employees in the world. They’re good, hardworking people who go the extra mile, and that’s what makes this community a great place to live in, is the employees and the people who help run the city.”
The new term begins on Nov. 2. Ralph Hellmich will serve as the next Foley mayor, and newcomer Dick Dayton will serve as representative for District 3. For more information, check out https://cityoffoley.org.