Mobile City District 2 Councilman William Carrollās decision to not run for re-election marked the fourth councilor from those elected in 2009 who will not be serving on the council this November.
Carroll, who has served two terms and was initially elected in 2005, announced during the July 16 City Council meeting that he will not run for reelection again because of a job opportunity.
Of the people elected to council in 2009, City Council president Reggie Copeland announced he would retire after this term ends in November. Former District 3 Councilman Jermaine Burrell left his position in November 2012 for a job in Boston. Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson left her District 6 seat for her current role.
During the final moment of the meeting, Carroll announced he would also not be returning.
"I have decided to take an executive position in Houston, and I will not be running for re-election,ā he said. Carroll later clarified the position is in Mobile, but the company is based in Houston. "It has been a joy to sit up here. It has been a joy to be part of the process. The last couple of years have been extremely hard on me and my family. Itās time to take somewhat of a new direction. Iām not saying Iām leaving public life, but I am saying I am going to take a break from this chair for a while.ā
Before Carroll leaves to focus more on family, his career and coaching, the councilman assured his remaining term will not be one in which he sits back and waits for a new person to take over.
"I have one more fight before I leave here,ā he said. "I believe I already have four votes and if I can find the fifth, then it would be an extreme pleasure. I want the local preference legislation to pass before November. I want minority participation part of that local preference to pass also.
"The legislation is written and for those of you who have seen it, I need your support on it. Believe me, I will fight for it.ā
Carroll has championed a new local preference ordinance that would give local and/or minority businesses an extra helping hand by reducing a local businessās bid for city work by a certain percentage. The city already has a similar ordinance on the books, but Carroll has lobbied for an updated version for more than a year.
The details of Carrollās proposed local preference legislation are not known because it has not been made public.
The other councilors said they were not completely shocked by Carrollās announcement but they knew he had been working with the company in a consulting capacity for more than a year.
"William, I certainly hate to hear it, but I canāt say Iām totally surprised. I have enjoyed serving with you,ā said Councilwoman Gina Gregory, who has sat next to Carroll during his time on council.
The other councilors also said they enjoyed serving with Carroll and thanked him for his service.
Carroll in turn thanked not only his fellow councilors, but mostly his supporters.
"Let me tell all of you who have called me over the last month and asked over and over again, āAre we ready to start a campaign?ā ā thank you,ā he said. "Thank you for your support. Thank you for your continued effort. Thank you to those who sent checks that I have sent back.ā
Carroll would have faced a number of competitors in the Aug. 27 election. There are currently five people qualified to run for the District 2 seat ā Lakeshia Dotson, Levon Manzie, Florance McElroy, Karlos Turner and Greg Vaughan.