Hoschton water towers

After months of calls for her resignation, Hoschton mayor Theresa Kenerly will leave office on Sunday, Dec. 15. 

The Hoschton City Council unanimously approved Kenerly’s resignation at a special called meeting Saturday, Dec. 14.

Kenerly came under fire in May after a fellow city council member said she didn’t include the resume of a candidate for city administrator because he is black and she didn’t know if the city was “ready for that.” Kenerly’s resignation comes days after the resignation of mayor pro tem Jim Cleveland, who previously defended Kenerly’s actions and expressed his views against interracial relationships.

Had Cleveland and Kenerly not resigned, they would have faced a recall election Jan. 14.

Cleveland’s and Kenerly’s resignations leave the city council essentially inoperable. The town's charter doesn't allow the mayor, or in the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tem, to vote on city matters. But with just three council members left and no mayor, there wouldn't be enough voting members to transact city business.

In related action, the council voted to allow attorney Thomas Mitchell to move forward with a motion in the Superior Court of Jackson County that would allow the newly-elected mayor pro tem, Adam Ledbetter, to vote on city matters. That move would allow the three-member board to continue functioning.



In another move, the city council voted to fire city administrator Dale Hall for cause. Council members and Mitchell refused to say what that cause was.

Kenerly — who presided via phone over her last meeting as mayor — objected to the decision. Kenerly said Hall wasn’t a good fit for the city, but still objected to the firing for cause.

With Hall’s departure, along with Cleveland’s and Kenerly’s resignations, it leaves Hoschton with little experienced administrative leadership within the town. Council members Ledbetter and Shantwon Astin took office just last month, while council member Hope Weeks was elected in 2018.

It also appeared Saturday that there’s some dissatisfaction on the council with the city’s current public development director Justin Kilgore. During discussions about naming Kilgore as the elections supervisor for the March 24 election for the newly-vacated seats, Astin questioned whether another staff member might be more qualified.


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