published Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Hamilton: Coppinger proposes changes to county mayor selection process

by Dan Whisenhunt

Newly-appointed Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger asked commissioners to support reform of the mayoral selection process.

While the document has not been released to the commission, the discussion among commissioners indicates it will give the commission the option to call for a special election for County Mayor.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said what Coppinger proposes is a "general act with local application."

Coppinger said the county was bound by state law when it went through a tumultuous process to appoint him, a process that resulted in several 4-4 deadlocks among eight commissioners. Coppinger, who was a commissioner at the time, could not vote for himself. Coppinger's opposition was former special assistant to the mayor Mike Carter.

"I don't think the public really understood how driven that process was by state statute," Coppinger said. "This panel really did not have any options at all."

More in tomorrow's edition of the Times Free Press

More: Coppinger proposes changes to county mayor selection process

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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