Hooks, who was elected in 2008, would have had to seek re-election in 2012. The council members have 30 days to appoint a board member to the at-large seat on the school board to finish the remainder of Hooks’ term.
Councilmen Ben Little and Herbert Palmore have been through this process before. In July 2001, then-board Chairman Ida Romine died, and the members appointed Robert Houston to fill her seat.
“It was not a smooth process the last time,” Little said. “I’m hoping this one could be a lot better.”
In 2001, the members took applications for the position -– there were seven applicants –- interviewed them and chose a candidate from the seven. The school board members were not involved in the process. Little thinks that was a mistake.
“We talk about the representatives in Montgomery, they force things on Anniston we didn’t ask them for and when there’s something coming up, they don’t talk to the council about it. They just do it,” Little said. “I think it’s the appropriate thing to do to consult the school board even though we’ll have to make the ultimate decision.”
Councilman David Dawson agreed.
“I certainly want to sit down with the school board and get their input,” he said. “They’re going to have to work with this person, and I think it’s important that they have input as to who this person is.”
Little would like to wait until after the funeral to get started on the process. Because the City Council cancelled its meeting on Nov. 8, and some of the members will be out of town for a national League of Cities conference, the councilmen might discuss the issue at its work session today.
Once a new member is in place, the board can elect a chairman.
Contact staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.