- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley appointed an interim mayor of Lake View in an effort to restore a quorum to the town council and allow the municipal government to act in its official capacity for the first time in two months.

Bentley appointed former town councilman Paul Calhoun to fill the vacancy when former mayor Bruce Wade and Councilwomen Vivian Bean and Shannon Phillips abruptly resigned from their positions on April 20. Calhoun was appointed June 17, the Tuscaloosa News (https://bit.ly/28R8KTP) reported.

Bentley intends to fill the two empty council seats soon, governor’s office spokeswoman Yasamie August said.

Lake View is typically run by five council members and a mayor who votes on issues affecting the east Tuscaloosa County town of about 2,000 residents. The three remaining council members have lacked the four-person quorum since the resignations in April.

August said Bentley chose Calhoun for his experience and knowledge of the city’s government. Calhoun served on the council between 2008 and 2012 after winning his seat in an uncontested election. He was defeated by current councilwoman Leslyn Weathers in 2012.

Lake View Police Chief Eddie Frederick called Bentley’s appointment of Calhoun “a fantastic move.”

“Paul is pro-town, he’s pro-police, he’s got the right mindset,” Frederick said.

However, others are not as thrilled.

Councilwoman Jimmie Thomas questioned Bentley’s choice of Calhoun over other candidates for the job. She said Calhoun was not one of the five resumes from people who expressed interest in filling the vacancies that were sent to the governor’s office.

State Rep. Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa, whose district includes parts of Lake View, said Tuesday afternoon that he knows Calhoun and likes him.

“I know Paul, but I didn’t nominate him. His name was recommended by others,” he said.

Wingo added: “My whole purpose and concern is just to serve the people, to bring calm to the situation. The hope and intent is to create an interim government to provide just that, so that the city can pay its bills, have police protection and have its elections occur on time during these uncertain times.”

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