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Mobile City Council without president after split vote

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The city of Mobile is still without a city council president as an attorney reviews state law to determine how to move forward following a split vote.

Votes were taken at a city council meeting on Monday and Councilman Fred Richardson received one vote shy of the required amount.

However, according to Council Vice President Levon Manzie, that hasn't been determined for sure.

"The crux of the dispute is whether it takes 4 or 5 votes to elect our officers," said Manzie.

Manzie said this is a unique situation and as far as he knows, a first for the city of Mobile.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson and members of the City Council swore in for the start of a new term at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in downtown Mobile on Monday.

But at the earlier council meeting, votes for President were split between Councilman Fred Richardson and Councilwoman Gina Gregory.

Richardson received four votes for president, while Gina Gregory received three.

Levon Manzie, who was unanimously elected Vice President, said the council's attorney will review state law to determine the next step.

"I will be facilitating the meetings until such time that we can get a legal opinion from our new counsel and have a re-election," Manzie said.

Manzie, who is acting president until a decision is made, said he doesn't expect any set back from the situation.

"This council has attacked impasses and tough spots in the past. This situation will be no different. The business of the city will continue to move forward progressively," said Manzie.

Manzie said the city's attorney is working hard but there's no timetable on when a decision could happen.

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