Northport Councilman Resigns As President to Avoid Mayor’s Seat
Jeff Hogg, the president of the Northport City Council, resigned from that role Tuesday, at least temporarily, to avoid being named the city's mayor in a few weeks.
Incumbent mayor Bobby Herndon shocked the city last month when he announced he would resign from office effective December 31st over a dispute with the five-member council about the renaming of a street in front of his surveying business.
The unprecedented resignation had left the council and city staff unsure of exactly how to proceed, but state law is clear that in the event of a vacancy in the mayor's office, the council's president is to step up and serve the rest of the term.
Hogg, who is halfway through his second four-year term on the council, was unanimously elected president after his re-election in November 2020 but said he is simply not interested in serving the rest of Herndon's time as mayor and resigned as president Tuesday to avoid doing so.
Hogg is only stepping down as president, not vacating his seat on the council entirely.
"This morning, I hand-delivered a resignation letter for the Council President position. Due to state law, should I remain in that position, I would become mayor on January 1st for the vacated seat from the voluntary resignation of Bobby Herndon," Hogg told the Thread. "At this time, my heart lies with the citizens who elected me in District 5 and I want to carry out the vision I had campaigned on based on their support. By resigning from the president position, I now give way to someone else whose heart will be the best to fulfill the mayor position."
The council president also wields significantly more political power than the mayor, which is largely a ceremonial position in Northport. Mayors cannot introduce resolutions for the council to consider and do not vote on council matters.
Hogg has been instrumental in expanding restaurant and retail options in Northport and has his eyes set on major legacy projects, including a water park, a sports complex and an outdoor adventure park, all of which he hopes to see come to Northport in the next several years.
It's also possible the resignation will be quite temporary -- with Hogg's resignation, president pro tempore John Hinton will become council president and will almost certainly become mayor on January 1st, opening up the president's seat once again. Hogg said there is no guarantee the council will elect him president once again, but that he would serve in that role if they do so.
"I don't know what will happen come January and am taking every day one day at a time," Hogg said. "I appreciate the support in the past to put me in that position and should my peers see fit to nominate me again, I will gladly serve."
The council will also have to appoint a representative to fill Hinton's District 3 council seat, assuming he becomes mayor in January.
The council's next meeting will be held this Monday, December 12th. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates from City Hall as they become available.