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SELMA — New Selma Public Utilities Director Dwan Bell is a family man. He and his wife Sharron have three children and one on the way.
An Elizabeth City native, Bell said family is always important.
“I encourage my children to set goals, achieve them and let nothing stand in their way,” said Bell.
The Bells have a 14-year-old and 12-year old son, a 6-year-old daughter and another son due in January.
Bell is a graduate of Elizabeth State University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and public administration. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration, mostly online, at Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, Alabama.
“Serving in public administration is a goal I set for myself,” said Bell. “Going to school was four stressful years. I was working full-time, trying to be a good husband and father, taking summer and winter classes.”
Before coming to Selma in late September, Bell worked in public works for Elizabeth City for 17 years. He said the town of Elizabeth City was very supportive as he furthered his education.
Selma Town Manager Elton Daniels said Bell hit the ground running and that he was thrilled to get someone with his talent.
“He is a real go-getter, very humble and eager to learn,” said Daniels. “What impressed me most about Dwan was his perseverance, his willingness to do what it takes to not only get the job done, but also to better himself as a professional.”
Bell said becoming Selma’s new public utilities director was a role he wanted and another goal set. This is his first time away from his home town and he’s glad he made the decision to relocate.
“This is a great town,” said Bell. “It’s quiet and I love it. It reminds me of Elizabeth City. Everyone has been so welcoming. This is a great place.”
He said all of his employees are knowledgeable in their roles.
“This town believes in training,” said Bell. “Public works involves water and sewer, road repair and building and cemetery maintenance.”
Bell said he’s trying to familiarize himself with existing town projects.
“We’ve got a street resurfacing project,” said Bell. “There are a lot of roads which need repair. We’re trying to put a package together and hope to get construction bids out.”
Bell describes himself as a fair leader.
“I’m also firm and want to get the job done,” said Bell. “This town and its citizens expect excellent service. There will be no favoritism. We’ll stick together and work together as a unit. “