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Al Keown served on the Washington County Planning Commissioner for 20 years.

For his longtime community service, Keown was recognized during a County Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 18 at the request of County Commissioner Tray Hawkins and given a plaque.

Al Keown was recently recognized by the Washington County Board of County Commissioners for his 20 years of service as a Planning Commissioner. Keown’s family joined him at the BOCC meeting for the occasion. From left: His son-in-law Jimmy Cook, wife Wanda Keown, granddaughter Brittany Keown, daughter Michelle Cook, Al Keown, grandson Benjamin A Keown Sr. Esq., BOCC Chairman David Pettis, County Commissioner Alan T. Bush, County Commissioner David Corbin, County Commissioner Wesley Griffin, and County Commissioner Tray Hawkins. [COLLIN BREAUX | The News] 

“I want to say thank you, Washington County,” Keown said. “It wasn’t for the money I was here. Thank you very much.”

The Planning Commission, which reviews proposed developments and makes recommendations on decisions to the BOCC, is an unpaid position. 

Hawkins said he knew Keown for years.

“When you see Mr. Al on the streets, you’ll sometimes have the thought when you leave him that he didn’t like me much or that was a rough conversation,” Hawkins said. “The more you get to know him, the more you get to see him and witness what he does for the community over the years, whether it be lending his bucket truck to the sportsplex or rec facilities to redo lights.”

Keown was also said to support youth sports.

“Mr. Al was a candidate for the position as well (when I was elected),” Hawkins said. “Then, the political field was so much different. We had eaten lunch and had discussions and had ideas. Most of our ideas were aligned. Our ideas that weren’t aligned, we found common ground.”

Keown’s daughter, Michelle Cook, has since assumed his seat on the Planning Commission.

Keown is also proud of his grandchildren, Hawkins said.

“Your service is always appreciated and never, never goes unnoticed,” Hawkins said.

County Commissioner Alan T. Bush thanked Keown for his service and it is a “wonderful legacy” for Cook to take his position.