Alabama Mayor Resigns to Join Coastal Insurance Agency

November 8, 2006

Foley Mayor Tim Russell resignedthis week with two years remaining in his term and will serve on a planned coastal insurance agency for south Alabama.

Russell, who owns an insurance agency and became mayor about 12 years ago, said he resigned to avoid a conflict of interest. He said the coastal insurance agency being formed would deal with municipalities, counties and other government agencies.

City attorney Casey Pipes advised Russell that it would be a conflict of interest to remain as mayor.

City Council member John Koniar, mayor pro tem, will serve as acting mayor until the council elects someone to serve the remaining two years in Russell’s term.

Russell, a South Alabama Regional Planning Commission board member, recently has led that organization’s investigation into captive insurance. Under such a plan, cities, businesses and condominium associations in Mobile and Baldwin counties could insure themselves by pooling premiums that can be disbursed if a member incurs damage.

Russell has said that a captive could fill a void in the local insurance market. Some traditional insurance companies have dropped plans on the coast or stopped offering new ones, and premiums have increased.

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