A divided Northport City Council voted 3-1 to appoint a local businessman to fill the District 5 seat vacated by council president Jeff Hogg last month.

As provided by state law, the four council members left on the council after Hogg stepped down were allowed 60 days to appoint a resident from District 5 to fill the rest of his term, which ends next year.

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Some residents and councilwoman Jamie Dykes said they felt a special election should have been called so the people of District 5 could choose their own representative.

"I really hate that we were put in this position, to appoint someone. We had some excellent candidates but I feel like this puts us in a bad spot because we do not represent District 5," Dykes said. "I really feel like an election should have been held for that position - for that I do apologize but apparently that's the way the law was written.

Her opposition was not enough to prevent the appointment - the other three members of the council decided to exercise the authority given to them by state law and appoint Anwar Aiken to fill the term.

Aiken and his wife run a Northport business called the Grant Event.

The measure passed 3-1, with Dykes voting against the appointment. Council President Christie Bobo nominated Aiken, and Councilmen Karl Wiggins and Woodrow Washington voted in favor.

Their 3 votes were enough to seat Aiken until this council term ends in August 2025.

Before the meeting began, Northport Mayor John Hinton prayed during his invocation that the council would act in a way that represented their constituents and that a spirit of respect could return to the embattled city hall - time will tell whether his hopes prove true.

For more from Northport as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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