Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon announced his resignation during a Monday City Council Meeting.

The bombshell announcement came over a conflict with the council regarding the renaming of a city street that was expected to be easy business for the elected officials.

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It would have renamed a portion of 28th Street to Benevolence Way, in recognition of Herndon's years of service collecting and donating supplies to cities in the region in the wake of natural disasters.

An unexpected wrinkle appeared when city attorney Ron Davis said that council policy only allows naming a city street after a person or an organization, and that "Benevolence Way" would not fit that criteria.

The council first considered tabling the motion until January for longer deliberation, to consider a new name or re-examine city poilicy, but Herndon said even with extra time, he would not want to see the name changed.

"I don't have a group," he said. "The citizens of Northport are my group."

Herndon told the council to go ahead and vote on the renaming Monday night, and Councilman Woodrow Washington made a motion to do so. No one seconded the motion, and it died on the council floor.

The meeting continued on as normal for a few minutes, before Herndon announced his resignation during a portion of the meeting set aside for his comments to citizens.

"I said it when I first got sworn in in 2008 that if I ever felt like I wasn't doing my job, I would resign," Herndon said. "Having said that, effective December 31st, I will no longer be mayor of Northport."

"I appreciate this council, I love them, but I'm sort of hamstrung. This is something that was going to really benefit the people that helped [disaster relief efforts] but if I can't get support on it -- on something that simple -- then I don't need to be mayor."

Council President Jeff Hogg introduced a motion to accept the resignation, and John Hinton seconded it. The council voted 3-2 to accept, with Washington and Jamie Dykes voting no.

This is a developing story, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more as it becomes available.

 

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