A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Paul grew up in Arab, Alabama, and graduated from Arab High School. He attended the University of Alabama, where he met his wife, Jan Rudder South. The couple moved to Jackson, Alabama in 1977 and later had three children, Carrie, Laura and Will.
Paul worked in the grocery industry in management before moving to Jackson and going to work for Allied Paper, which is now owned by PCA. He worked at the mill for 38 years until his retirement.
Paul was first elected to the Jackson City Council in 1992, where he served in District 2, Place One until his election as Mayor in 2016. He served for 16 years as Mayor Pro Temp. Paul served on Jackson Water and Sewer Board for 15 years, During his tenure he served as Chairman and managed the construction of a 6.2 million dollar water facility. He served at various times on every city Board – Library, Recreation, Airport, Port, Industrial Development Board, as well as the Planning Commission. He presently serves as Chairperson for Clarke Mobile Gas, has chaired Black Belt Energy, and currently sits as Chair of Lower Alabama Gas.
Paul has a passion for Senior Citizens. He was the driving force behind a new facility being built in Jackson in 2010. He stays in close contact and attends and holds functions at the center for them.
Paul is very involved in the community He has served on The Arc of Clarke County Board of Directors, the Allied Credit Union Board, the Alabama Rural Water Association Board, and the Salvation Army Board. He is known as the “bell ringer” man because he has organized the Bell Ringer effort in Jackson for years.
He was chosen Jackson Citizen of the Year in 2012..
Paul is a strong supporter of Jackson schools. Two new schools have been built since his tenure on the City Council, and there have been various upgrades to sports facilities. He keeps in touch with the schools and frequently participates in school programs. As Mayor, he strives to recognize outstanding students and involve them in Council meetings. He believes that our children are the future.
During his tenure in city government, Paul has supported the local paper mill, which employs 450 people, and Canfor Lumber Company, a Canadian company which employs 160, SET Steel Stamping Industry, and I Spice Foods , Inc., which is all located in the Jackson city limits.
They are members of First Baptist Church.
His motto is “Love Where You Live”. Having raised their children there, the Souths know that Jackson is a great place to live, work, and play.. The schools, the life style, the churches, the safety, and general peace and tranquility make Jackson a perfect place to live. Even though Jackson has outstanding natural resources – the location on the Tombigbee River, hunting and fishing, and the moderate climate, the people are the best natural resource. He constantly strives to make Jackson even better by being strongly involved in economic development and seeking ways to improve the quality of life.
In conclusion, “It’s a wonderful life, love where you live, and ROLL TIDE.”