By Alison James
A special election was planned for the city council Ward 3 seat vacated by Joey Motley, but that won’t be necessary with only one person qualifying for the race.
“Politics has been something I grew up around,” said Dozier SmithT, owner of Winston SmithT Building Supply and longtime Opelika resident. “Whenever elections were coming around, we were always attuned to it at our house.”
SmithT was approved as “duly elected” by a resolution from the city council Tuesday. SmithT said the decision to run for city council was not one he made rashly.
“I talked to a couple people,” SmithT said. “I took some time to really think about it and pray about it. I knew some other people were considering it. One person in particular deferred if I wanted to do it, and I just decided it was the right time.”
Councilmembers were enthusiastic about SmithT joining them in leading and serving the city.
“This is going to keep our council together like it has been for quite some time,” said councilman David Canon. “He and his family are very dedicated Opelika people.”
Generations of SmithTs have lived in Opelika, and the family is well-known by many.
“I’ve grown up here; I love this city,” SmithT said. “I love everything about it. We’ve got so many great things going for us, and I think we can continue those, and we can get better. I’m excited about being a part of that.”
SmithT attended Opelika City Schools growing up and earned his accounting degree from Auburn University. He and his wife Sara moved back to the area in 1996 after she finished her residency following medical school.
The SmithTs – Dozier, Sara and their six children – are active at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Dozier has also participated in a number of community groups, including Opelika Dixie Youth baseball, the EAMC Foundation board, Opelika Main Street and the Rotary Club. He said joining city council was just a natural desire, out of his love for and involvement in the community.
“There comes a point when you think, I need to serve. Or at least put my name in the hat to serve,” he said. “It’s something new for me. Generally, I’d like to see the city grow and see us be a financially stable community.”
SmithT said his strengths on the council will be “wise discernment and a dedication to study up on the issues.
Former Ward 3 councilman Motley said SmithT is a “man of character” who will do a great job.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to run against him,” Motley quipped. “I don’t think you could find anybody better.”