Residents call for city leaders to resign

More movement in the pending recall election against the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem of Hoschton.

Several residents called on Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Cleveland to resign or be forced out after reportedly racially charged language led to the uproar.

At the City Councils work session the call for the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to resign was backed up by petition signatures for a recall election.

"You got 270 people that say this needs to end the sooner the better.These petitions prove that the drumbeat of disapproval is beating louder than ever, said Scott Butler, a Hoschton resident and former council member.

He said more than enough signatures have been gathered to meet the threshold of 96 signatures each for the first phase of the recall election against Kennerly and Cleveland.

It stems from several months ago with Kenerly reportedly said Hoschton wasn't ready for a black city administrator.

Cleveland added fuel to the fire when he said he's Christian and doesn't believe in interracial marriage.

The controversy led to more than 80 ethics complaints which led to a petition signature gathering for a recall election.

"You and you do us a favor and don't ever utter the words I love my city because it is abundantly clear you do not," said Erma Denny, a Hoschton resident and former Mayor as she directed her comments to Kenerly and Cleveland.

The controversy which has left the future of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem in limbo led in part to Shantwon Astin and Adam Ledbetter to seek the seats of two other council members.

"We do need more transparency in government, we need more people who are going to actually run and be for the people," said Astin.

"The citizens have spoken with this recall and it's time to go," said Ledbetter.

Kenerly and Cleveland have been under a legal gag order as a lawsuit lingers, but both had a little to say after the Thursday night work session.

"I do love Hoschton with all my heart and soul and have for thirteen years and I'm going to continue to try to do the very best I can at this point," said Kenerly.

"Our lawyers are telling us when the time comes we can speak well I'm getting anxious for the time to come too.," said Cleveland.

Butler said the petition signatures will be turned into the Jackson County Elections Office Friday.