Hinton says he’ll veto community center sale if it comes up in council

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Balenger

Northport Mayor John Hinton said he’ll veto the future potential sale of Northport Community Center and its surrounding property to Beeker Property Group, but that doesn’t mean the location is saved.

On Monday, Hinton announced he’ll veto the sale if it’s brought up in council; the potential sale is currently under a 180-day due diligence period, meaning it won’t be up for a vote until this winter.

“I feel like personally it’s the right thing we need to do at this point,” Hinton said. “Well, I decided on my own. Certainly we listened to all the constituents, their concerns and all. But you have to look at the total picture of the city of Northport, what’s best for the city. And I feel like at this time, this is the best route to go.”

But Hinton did not veto the council’s recent 3-2 decision decision to rescind a 1993 law that requires unanimous consent from the council and the mayor before the city can sell a city-owned recreational property.

That means if the council votes along the same lines when the sale comes up for a vote and Hinton vetoes the measure, the council can then override that veto with a 4-1 vote. District 1’s Christy Bobo and District 4’s Jamie Dykes voted against rescinding the 1993 law. Neither have said how they’ll vote when the sale is on the table.

Northport resident Judy Holland has become the face of the group opposed to the sale of the property, and said Monday that this is a major step in the right direction.

“This community has all pulled together, that’s the one thing,” Holland said. “We’ve got thousands of people that’s working on this together. And no matter what happens after this, we’ve all worked together to save this community center and it did feel really good for everybody to be happy about what I said.”

Holland said she’s disappointed that Hinton did not veto the repeal of the 1993 the resolution, but said she’s glad the mayor intends on vetoing the sale if it comes up for a vote.

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