DAPHNE, Ala. (WPMI) - The Daphne City Council voted unanimously Tuesday on several proposals to honor the late Mayor Bailey Yelding, and continue city business.
Yelding died Tuesday morning losing his battle with cancer. Yelding had served the City of Daphne for 12 years, and was appointed interim mayor by his fellow councilman in September 2011 following the departure of then-Mayor Fred Small. Yelding was then elected mayor of the City of Daphne in October 2012, and officially took office in November.
Council members took time at Tuesday night's council meeting to each offer their condolences to Yelding's family, and remember the man they worked with, and some knew, for a long time.
"Bailey was a friend, he was a coach, he was a mentor, he was a father figure, he is someone whom I will miss," Councilman John Lake said.
Council members had the painful task of discussing how to move the city forward, and fill the seat left empty Tuesday night. The decision is mixed up in Alabama law.
"One (statute) says the council makes the decision, either by electing from somebody on the council or any qualified elector," Daphne City Attorney Jay Ross said, "The other statute says the council president automatically assumes to the position by the operation of law."
Ross said he will seek an emergency opinion of the state attorney general's office Wednesday morning. In the meantime, the council voted unanimously to have Council President Ron Scott take care of Mayor Yelding's duties.
The mayor's seat will remain empty for now.
"We're going to miss the mayor here awfully bad," Councilman Scott said, "but it's the situation where he would want the city to go forward."
The council also voted unanimously to make the week of January 22 "Mayor Bailey Yelding Jr. Week" in Daphne.
Council President Ron Scott said Yelding's funeral will be held at the Daphne Civic Center on Friday.