September 13, 2013 Atlanta - Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr. speaks during a news conference on developments around the Falcons Stadium at Atlanta City Hall on Friday, September 13, 2013. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Election to replace late council member could occur as soon as March

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said on Tuesday the council will not appoint anyone to temporarily fill the seat of late Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr., who died on Friday.

Moore changed her stance on the matter after being briefed by City Attorney Nina Hickson at Monday’s council meeting.

A spokesperson for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told The Atlanta Journal-Constitiution that Hickson had determined that the city’s charter only allows the council to appoint someone to a vacant seat if the vacancy occurred during the last year of the council member’s term.

Young was re-elected to his fourth four-year term in November 2017.

It appears that the soonest any special election could occur under state law is March 19 — the third Tuesday in March, one of four dates marked for special elections for county and municipal offices.

Moore said city officials hope to hold the election in March so that the Westside neighborhoods his District 3 seat includes won’t go long without having council representation.

Young was widely regarded as an ally of Bottoms and whoever wins his seat could shift the balance of power on the council.

Young’s death at age 56 follows a battle with cancer. He took a leave of absence from the council a couple months ago to undergo stem cell treatment.

A memorial wake and Alpha Phi Alpha Omega Service is scheduled for Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Greater Springfield Baptist Church, 721 Jones Avenue, NW.

A memorial service will be held on Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. at Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at 830 Westview Drive SW.

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