BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham City Council leadership still remains uncertain.
The council voted Tuesday for councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who represents District 5, to serve as council president. But the city clerk and city attorney later said that vote was invalid.
O’Quinn only gained four votes from the council, but the Mayor Counci Act required him to have five votes. CBS 42 reached out to council members and the mayor’s office, but both declined to comment.
The council will now hold a special call meeting to revote on a president.
Johnathan Austin, a former Birmingham City Council member and president, said he is disappointed the council has to revote to elect a president.
“It’s unfortunate when you have a body charged with managing over a half a billion dollar budget they can’t do simple math, and you need to know the rules of engagement before you sit down and start counting,” Austin said.
Austin said council presidents and pro tems originally served four years in the leadership role, but he said a law pushed by former Birmingham Mayor William Bell was passed allowing both to run for reelection every for two years. He said the law was made to remove him as council president.
“We had to have an election a week or two after the law was passed,” Austin said. “We had the election, and I won again.”
Austin said the city council revote to elect a council president is concerning.
“I hope that the council gets it together because right now we’re just talking about an election, but we’re not even talking about the impact of that election, of this one that we’re having tomorrow, on these neighborhoods,” Austin said.
The council did decide on a president pro tem. That will be Wardine Alexander, a former council president.
The special called meeting will be held Friday to revote for the council president at Boutwell Auditorium at 9:30 a.m.