(DAPHNE, Ala.) - The Daphne City Council elected District 1 Councilman Bailey Yelding as the city's next mayor Monday night.
Yelding, the first black mayor of the City of Daphne, will officially begin his term Nov. 1. Yelding takes the place of Mayor Fred Small, who resigned from the position last month. Small said he wants to spend more time with his family. Small's resignation is effective 12:01 Tuesday morning.
Council President Cathy Barnette was a strong favorite for the position, but the city clerk told LOCAL 15 News Barnette decided not to run for the mayor's seat. Barnette told the city clerk Monday she could not meet the $500,000 security bond required for the position, and that she is dealing with personal financial issues.
Barnette's decision led to four different nominations at the regular meeting at Daphne City Hall Monday night. Councilman Bailey Yelding received the four votes required to seal his nomination for mayor.
"I'll work hard to make this city go forward," Yelding said.
Yelding said he'll have to think about his list of priorities in his new positions, but he realized the significance of his nomination.
"First black mayor of the City of Daphne," Yelding said. "That's history isn't it? It means a lot to me to be able to take on this task."
The former Baldwin County teacher and high school coach of 30 years said it is something he did not expect. At first he said he didn't even want the job.
"Once he saw the fact that we were having trouble," Councilman Ron Scott said. "There was a little competition between the number of council people. He decided it would be the best to do to serve his city, and I'm proud of him and I'm proud we selected him."
Daphne council members said they will begin looking for candidates to fill Yelding's now vacant District 1 seat.