DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - In a majority vote Monday, February 4, the Daphne City Council approved an interim mayor. Their choice surprised a few people, including the new mayor. Dane Haygood received five votes to serve out the remainder of late Mayor Bailey Yelding, who died in January.
Haygood's name didn't ring a bell with most Daphne residents when asked if they knew who he was.
"No I don't," said one woman.
"Dane Haygood? No I don't," responded another citizen.
Haygood spent Tuesday settling in to his new office at City Hall. Having only been in public office since he was elected to the District 7 seat three months ago, the appointment took him by surprise.
"I did not envision this yesterday," Haygood said. "I had other plans for today, but it's certainly an honor to be able to serve the City of Daphne and be selected. And today is day one of a new opportunity and job for me."
Haygood is a native Mobilian who graduated from Murphy High School before attending Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He moved back to the Gulf Coast to reside in Daphne and is President of H Properties, LLC, a commercial real estate company. He is married with three daughters.
"We wanted to have a family. We wanted to get back home," said Haygood. "We settled nicely into Daphne. Love it. Love the Eastern Shore. Want to see what I can do to help make Daphne the best it can be."
Haygood is a conservative who has been active in the Republican Party in Baldwin County. He initially ran for office out of the desire for change saying he wanted to bring more professionalism to the city council. Haygood said he realizes he has big shoes to fill left behind by Yelding, but said he's up for the challenge.
"Certainly, there will be policies that will make good sense. We'll continue those and where there's room for improvement. We'll try to identify those areas and improve them. I certainly think the government can always find a way to be more efficient, and that will be one of my goals."
Even though many Daphne residents don't know who Dane Haygood is yet, the ones FOX10 spoke with showed overwhelming support for the appointment saying they were confident in the city council's decision.
"I think it's good. We can trust our council members to know that if five of them say that he's probably a good candidate; then he probably is," said District 7 resident, Zack McEvoy.
Applications for the vacated District 7 City Council seat are being accepted through the next council meeting February 18. The council has 60 days to fill the spot, so if you're the right person for the job, drop off your application at the Daphne City Clerk's office.
District 7 includes the neighborhoods of Timber Creek, Historic Malbis and the northeast portion of Lake Forest subdivision.
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