City Council President00000000

For the first time in recent memory, the Tuscaloosa City Council will head into their regular Tuesday meetings without a president.

After a non unanimous vote Monday, they’re back at the drawing board and will vote again at today’s City Council meeting. Right now, the mayor has no second in command.

District 3 Tuscaloosa City Councilwoman Cynthia Almond was elected as council president during a work session in April, but two “no” votes kept her from the position at Monday’s organizational meeting.

Council newcomer District 2 Councilwoman Raevan Howard and District 7 Councilwoman Sonya McKinstry were the “no” votes.

“It’s nothing about the person,” McKinstry said. “It’s about the position.”

McKinstry and District 3 Councilman Kip Tyner were vying for the role before the April vote. Tyner said he felt he should hold the position because of his seniority among the council, but he did vote for Almond on Monday. McKinstry said she believes the council president should be black because the mayor is white, and that’s why she threw her name in the hat.

As a black woman, McKinstry said her election would level out the city’s leadership by highlighting the council’s diversity among the top heads of city government.

Howard was unable to vote in the April decision because her first day in office was Monday, and said her decision was based on what her constituents said they wanted.

“When I received the phone calls about being in favor of Sonya McKinstry being the new city council president, I wanted to go with who the residents in District 2 felt that decision should go to,” Howard said. “Most of my calls were in favor of Sonya McKinstry. I represent District 2, and I wanted to stand behind District 2.”

Almond said she feels confident she’ll be elected as council president at today’s City Council meeting. The vote today is a majority vote and does not require a unanimous decision.

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