DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - Hearts are heavy on the Eastern Shore following the death of Daphne Mayor Bailey Yelding , early Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Despite the tragedy, the Daphne City Council gathered at its weekly meeting to discuss the future of the city.
Council members said it wasn't easy. Officials couldn't help but shed a few tears during roll call.
"I'm not too ashamed to say I cried," said City Councilman John Lake. "I've known Bailey Yelding since I was in high school. He was a coach, a friend, a mentor, he was a fellow councilman, and he was a mayor."
Mayor Yelding had been in poor health and had just taken a medical leave of absence before losing his battle to cancer at home.
The council honored his memory as Daphne's first black mayor, a councilman for more than a decade before that, a coach, and a staple in the community.
"We are all indebted to him and his leadership and what he's done over the years he's served in several capacities and he will always be an integral part of this community," said Council President Ron Scott.
The council now finds itself in a tough spot. Officials said there are two conflicting laws in the books on how to fill the mayor's seat in this situation.
City leaders voted to seek the opinion of the Alabama Attorney General on which law to follow.
In the meantime, Daphne remains without a mayor.
Council members said they are in no rush.
"I think we need to give the families time to grieve. I think we need let everyone have time to grieve. There's not a hurry so let everyone work and do it," said councilman Lake.
Yelding's funeral will be held Friday, Jan. 25 at the Civic Center .
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