BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) -After losing in a runoff election to Chris Elliott Tuesday, District 2 Baldwin County Commissioner, Bob James announced his resignation Thursday, July 17, 2014. His letter of resignation was read aloud at the Baldwin County Commission meeting Thursday morning after which the Commission voted to ask Governor Robert Bentley for a quick appointment.
“Respecting the wishes of the citizens as expressed this July 15, 2014 in the primary runoff election and their desire to move the county ahead, effective immediately I resign the office of County Commissioner District 2, Baldwin County Commission,” Baldwin County Administrator, David Brewer read from the letter.
James did not attend the meeting. The other commissioners voted to send a quick appeal to Governor Bently asking for the appointment of commissioner-elect, Chris Elliott. Elliot was at the meeting, but wasn’t expecting to take office until the current term runs out in November.
“We were ready to get involved and make sure we were ready to go in November. This just moves that time frame up just a little bit, but I’m not concerned. I’m ready to go,” Elliott said.
James was the chairman of the budget committee and with the first budget meeting scheduled for Friday and only a couple of months to balance the county’s budget, some commissioners were disappointed in James’ early resignation.
“In his resignation he said he just wanted to do what the people to…but also the people did elected him last term and his term did not run out until November and it would have been nice for him to have finished his term,” said Commission Chairman, Skip Gruber.
James declined an interview, but I did speak with him on the phone. He said the people had voted to move the county forward without him and he was simply stepping down to let that happen. District 3 Commissioner Tucker Dorsey was not surprised by his decision.
“Am I disappointed? No I’m not disappointed. I can’t even…I don’t know that I’m surprised. It’s so hard…it would be hard to come back to work the day after. I think everybody can understand it. It could create just a curious environment with department heads,” Dorsey said.
Those who live in District 2 and have issues that need the Commission’s attention should contact any commissioner because it’s an at-large seat.
County Addministrator, David Brewer said Governor Bentley has received James’ resignation letter and could announce the appointment to the seat as early as a day or two. Governor Bentley’s office tells us there is no name or timeline on an appointment at this time.