Roswell Mayor ruled ineligible to be mayor

A political shake up in Roswell.  A Fulton County Superior Court Judge ruled longtime Mayor Jere Wood must go. Judge Craig Schwall ruled Wood violated the city's term limits when he ran, and won, the position of Mayor in the last election.

This all started when a resident, Michael Litten, filed a lawsuit. 

"He shouldn't have run in 2013 and he bloody well should be out of office now," said Litten. 

The city's charter was amended in 2010 limiting the position of mayor to 3 terms, Wood is serving his 5th.

Wood has filed an appeal.  In a statement released from the city Wood says "I have decided to appeal the court's decision in this matter. 

However, I will not be seeking reelection this coming November. I will continue to serve the city until my current term comes to an end or the appellate court rules on Judge Schwall's decision."

The court's decision was the talk of the town Thursday.  "I personally think he's done a great job, I'm sorry to hear how it came down," said 25-year resident Mike Dierkes.

Others say the term limits were put in place for a reason. 

"You get a guy in there and he creates his own dynasty and it gets harder to dislodge any of the incumbents," said resident Tim Voulopos.

Resident Susan Johnston says change is good. 

"Everybody needs to have their turn, sometimes change is a great thing, we're ready for some new blood in Roswell," said Susan Johnston.

Michael Litten ran against Wood for mayor and lost.  He has already announced he'll be running in the next election.

The only other person who has officially announced her candidacy is Sandra Sidhom.  She released the following statement in response to the court ruling.

"I am disappointed but not surprised that we have come to the point where the Fulton Superior Court has to order Mayor Wood to vacate the office and hand over all materials to the city attorney. That members of our city government thought that spending over $25,000 on insisting that Mayor Wood should get three more terms is the height of hubris and shows how out of touch we are with what is actually happening in the community."

Sidhom hopes that the city government and Wood will accept the decision of the court and not drag the case into the appeals process which would mean even more spending of taxpayer funds to insist the mayor stay in power.

"We have seniors who are trying to figure out how to stay in their homes. We have a business community that is struggling to grow and stay relevant while other cities work to bypass us. We have rising issues of poverty, crime... and we are watching basic city services become more and more expensive. To spend months and tens of thousands of dollars on this case is not the kind of leadership we need. The city council and the mayor failing to do basic good governance in writing a poor term limits law and then begging the state legislature to bail them out, and taxpayer money to defend it... is not what the residents of Roswell need.

"I hope that now we can talk about how we keep working to make Rowell beautiful through the preservation of our historic areas, the care for our trees and parks, investment in education, working to ensure that traffic and congestion does not mire our neighborhoods, and that we don't see increased poverty and crime by having smart growth.

"I will be talking to the residents and community leaders of Roswell about how we move forward now and make this case a footnote and not a feature of Roswell."