Judge: Decatur can ignore 2010 vote, keep full-time mayor

Sep 21, 2020


DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to force the city of Decatur to follow the results of a 2010 referendum and adopt a city manager form of government.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon means that, for now at least, the north Alabama city can keep a full-time mayor. However, the plaintiff is considering an appeal and citizens are free to petition for another referendum.

Decatur city officials claimed it would be illegal to adopt a council-manager government because state law then called for only three  council members representing districts. City leaders argued that would violate the federal Voting Rights Act because the city could no longer draw a district with a Black voting majority.