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As we start to have a good time the Christmas season and shut out 2022, permit me to share the story of two nice Jefferson County/Alabama political legends.

Alabama Supreme Court docket Justice, Mike Bolin, is retiring on the finish of the yr from the state’s highest judicial tribunal.

Decide Bolin is a younger 72 and wouldn’t have retired and would have sought and been elected to a different sixyear time period if it weren’t for an antiquated state legislation that disallows somebody operating for a judgeship within the state after age 70.

Justice Bolin is likely one of the hottest and well-respected judges in Alabama.

He’s an enormous man, bodily and figuratively. He’s beloved all through the state, however particularly in his native Jefferson County. Mike Bolin was born in and is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County. He attended elementary and highschool in Homewood, and graduated from Shades Valley Excessive Faculty in 1966, with honors.

He stayed in Homewood for school, graduated from Samford College with a level in Enterprise Administration in 1970. He then continued on and bought his legislation diploma from Samford College’s Cumberland Faculty of Regulation. He graduated from legislation college in 1973. He was on the Dean’s record and was affiliate editor of the Regulation Evaluation.

Decide Bolin was a practising lawyer in Birmingham from 1973 by means of 1988. In 1988 he was first elected probate decide of Jefferson County. He was re-elected probate decide of Alabama’s largest county in 1994, and once more in 2020. He served in that place till his election to the Alabama Supreme Court docket in January 2004.

He started serving on the Supreme Court docket in January 2005. Thus, on the finish of his tenure in six weeks, he may have served 18 years on the excessive court docket.

Justice Bolin and his spouse Rosemary have one daughter, Leigh Anne. Mike Bolin is thought and revered for his integrity, humility and kindness.

One other Jefferson County legend, Tony Petelos, retired from public service final yr. Tony is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and is an actual American and Alabama success story. Tony Petelos has carved out a distinct segment in Jefferson County and Alabama political historical past.

His dad and mom are first technology immigrants. His household fled Greece when Mussolini and later Hitler invaded and decimated the nation. His father fought within the Greek Military after which later turned a member of the USA Military.

Tony is the youngest of 9 youngsters. He had 5 siblings born in Greece, one died within the conflict. His father made it to the USA in 1947. His mom arrived in 1950. That they had 4 sons born in America. Tony is the youngest. His father and mom settled in Ensley. Tony’s father was within the development enterprise and have become fairly profitable.

Tony and his three older brothers joined their father within the household enterprise. He earned his school diploma at UAB whereas working throughout the day. He met his spouse Teresa whereas each have been learning at UAB. She turned a Jefferson County circuit decide and served 18 years on the bench.

Tony started his political profession in 1986. He defeated an incumbent and have become one among solely 14 Republicans within the 105 member Home of Representatives. He was reelected in 1990 and once more in 1994. In 1997, after 11 years within the Home, Governor Fob James named Tony commissioner of the Division of Human Sources for the State of Alabama. He was reappointed Human Sources commissioner by Governor Don Siegelman in 1998 and served by means of 2001.

In 2004, Tony Petelos was elected mayor of town of Hoover, one of many state’s largest cities. He served eight years as mayor and earned a status as one of many state’s premier municipal directors.

In 2011, the Jefferson County authorities was in chaos to say the least. The County Fee lured Tony away from Hoover to be the administrator of Jefferson County’s authorities. He cleaned up the corruption and monetary issues and spent 10 years in that place. He retired about this time final yr at 69.

He and his spouse, Decide Petelos, are doing nicely. They reside in the identical house they’ve lived in for the final 24 years in Hoover. They’ve two grownup daughters, who they’re very happy with.

Tony’s story is a superb Alabama political success story.

Steve Flowers served 16 years within the Alabama Legislature. He could also be reached at