Council members say abolishing super majority would hurt minority communities

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Several Mobile City Council members are pushing back after Sheriff Sam Cochran proposed a change in the city’s form of government. As it stands, five of seven council members need to approve for any measure to pass. The Sheriff wants to get rid of the super majority rule.

News 5 spoke with Fred Richardson and John Williams who both support the super majority.

“This has been the most progressive form of government in the City of Mobile,” said Richardson.

“Never has it stopped the city from achieving what it needed to achieve,” said Willaims.

Requiring a super majority vote on the council was established to protect minority communities. That’s why some council members say the change would be dangerous.

“It assures that whoever or whatever demographic is a minority at any time in our city, that they will be heard,” said Williams.

In his announcement the Sheriff cited the failed annexation vote as his reason for creating the “Grow Mobile Now” campaign which aims or a referendum vote.

“As long as the super majority is working in my favor, good … but when it doesn’t work in my favor I want to change it and go to some other form of government? That’s not how it works,” said Richardson.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson is not taking a position on the issue. He says he will respect whatever citizens choose. He did say he wants elected officials to come together to work out a solution. The Mayor is hosting a meeting with city and county elected officials on March 24.

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