Northport Asks Ivey to Appoint Next Council Member from 3 Candidates
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey will officially have the opportunity to appoint the next person to represent Northport citizens on their city council after the deadline to take care of it in house expired this week.
Northport is divided into five districts, each with its own representative of the council, and the vacancy is in District 3 after former councilman John Hinton was appointed to replace Bobby Herndon as mayor after he resigned effective December 31st.
Alabama law allows the remaining four council members 60 days to appoint someone to fill the vacancy themselves, and seven people applied to be considered for the role, but the remaining four council members could not reach a consensus about whom they would appoint.
Northport City Administrator sent a letter to Ivey Thursday summarizing the vacancy and asking her to choose between Jason Barksdale, Kevin Pate and Karl Wiggins.
Barksdale owns his own lawn service company in Northport and said he wants to help the other council members as they grow the city.
"The reason I am interested in filling this seat is I see the current Mayor and Council working tirelessly to move Northport forward in the City it can be," Barksdale said in a letter the the council. "Too long have previous administrations say stagnant and not reached Northport's full potential."
Pate is a retired firefighter who spent 31 years with the Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue service and ended his time there as a battalion chief.
His submitted resume highlighted communication and time-management skills and a proven record of success with progressively increasing responsibilities during his career, but did not include a letter making his case.
Wiggins works in IT management for Randall Reilly, has lived in Northport since 1999 and raised four children there, all of whom graduated from Tuscaloosa County High.
He said his professional experience and involvement in his children's Scouting troops gave given him the ability to deal with difficult situations calmly and rationally.
"My reasoning for wanting to serve the city of Northport and District 4 in particular stems from a desire to see the city grow and prosper, and to do so in a way that improves life for the current residents as well as those in the future," he wrote. "I have a strong commitment to see the education and health systems in Northport improve, and to attract families and businesses to the area."
Ivey will have 30 days to pick a name from the three candidates, and Webb asked her to do so by "very early in the week of March 27" if possible.
Should Ivey elect not to appoint a council member, the matter will go to a special election and voters will elect the person to serve the rest of this term on the council before a General Election to fill all five council seats and the mayor's office in 2024.
For updates on the search for the next council member, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.