Alabama Governor Kay Ivey will almost certainly select the person to fill a vacant seat on the Northport City Council as the deadline draws near for its other members to do so themselves.

The office was vacated by now-mayor John Hinton at the beginning of the year after the sudden resignation of former mayor Bobby Herndon went into effect on December 31st.

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Hinton, a Baptist minister of music, was coincidentally appointed to the District 3 council seat after former councilman Rodney Sullivan resigned to serve in the Alabama House of Representatives in 2018.

Hinton was then officially elected in District 3 in 2020, but when Herndon announced his intention to step down as mayor last month, things got a little complicated.

State law says the sitting council president will move to fill a vacancy in the mayor's office, but council president Jeff Hogg said he did not want to be mayor and would rather carry on leading District 5 and serving as the head of the five-member council.

So Hogg temporarily stepped down as president, and Hinton stepped into that role until it came time to leave it again and become mayor in January. Hogg was then elected president once more, and the District 3 seat on the council has remained vacant ever since.

By law, the council has 60 days to fill a vacancy by their own vote before the matter is passed off to the sitting governor, who has another 30 days to select someone for the office. If no candidate is found within 90 days of the vacancy, a special election is called and the residents of Northport would vote to choose the person to fill the remaining year-and-chance in this four-year term.

On Friday afternoon, Northport City attorney confirmed the remaining four members of the city council have not come to an agreement about which of seven applicants for the job is best suited for the office.

"It does not appear that the City Council will reach a consensus as to the person to replace Mayor Hinton in District 3," Davis told the Thread. "This will then allow the elected officials to send a name to the Governor for her to select a new Council Member from the names submitted to her by the Northport elected officials."

For updates from City Hall as they develop, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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