Former two-term Dothan mayor and successful businessman Alfred Saliba died Sunday. He passed away at his home following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 82.
Saliba was first elected mayor in 1989---a late entry into the campaign. WDHN's Ken Curtis was master of ceremonies for Mr. Saliba's inauguration in October, 1989. "He mounted one of the most organized campaigns I've ever seen at the local level despite deciding become a candidate late in the process," Curtis said. "He ran his campaign like he ran his business interests. While he had a hands-on approach, he also knew how to delegate responsibility,"
Saliba was re-elected in 1993 but lost a third term bid in 1997 to Chester Sowell. "It was one of the biggest upsets I've ever seen," Curtis remembers. "Most everyone thought Mr. Saliba would win again so lots of his supporters just didn't go to the polls. I've always believed, had the election be held again the next day, Alfred would have won."
Saliba made his mark on Dothan---not only as mayor but as one of its most successful businessmen. He owned a real estate and land development company. Saliba was also known for his civic work and the family services center that bears his name.
"He was a real gentleman," Curtis remembers. "He genuinely cared about people and always had time for others. Dothan is a better place to call home because of Alfred Saliba."