Residents say Councilman Cook will be hard to replace

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery City Council is working to regain its footing after the surprising death of Councilman Willie Cook.

As the community continues to mourn his passing, Council members now face the difficult step of moving forward without him, including plans for a special election to fill his vacancy.

For Archie Blevins, a resident in District 6, one memory of Willie Cook stands out.

Blevins said, "We tried to get a community meeting together for all the residents in this area because of all the break-ins."

Even though few people showed up to the meeting, he says Councilman Cook did.

"My wife and I showed up and Willie Cook was there.  He gave us tips on how to keep the community safe," said Blevins.

Residents in District 6 appreciate those memories the most—memories of a man and leader who will be hard to replace.

Councilman Glen Pruitt worked alongside Cook for eight years.  He says there's no doubt that Tuesday's meeting will be very solemn.

"It's going to be weird to see an empty chair sitting right there. It's just difficult to fill shoes sometimes, and that's going to be a difficult spot to fill."

Tuesday, the Council will decide the details on a special election to fill his spot.

Pruitt expects the election to take place sometime in September with qualifying set for a few weeks before that.

This has happened before, most recently, when Bobby Bright resigned after becoming Congressman.

If there is no winner with 50 percent plus 1 vote, there will be a run-off election.

And when it comes time to fill that void, people in his district know the type of person they want.

"He was a really good guy for this area, so we hope that the next City Councilman that takes his place will at least look at crime in this area," said Blevins.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Councilors plan to pass a resolution commemorating the life and legacy of Willie Cook.

He served district six for 3 terms.

That cell phone ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Tracy Larkin, is up for a vote at city hall as well.

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