Hoschton water tower

The Hoschton City Council has officially called for a Jan. 14 recall vote on whether or not to remove Mayor Theresa Kenerly and mayor pro tem Jim Cleveland from office.

But according to a story in the Dec. 10 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cleveland plans to resign before that happens.

The council made the recall election official in a called meeting Dec. 5.

But the measure was hung in limbo for about 10 minutes during the meeting after council members realized they didn't have enough votes to move forward. Neither Kenerly nor Cleveland could vote on the measure, according to city attorney Thomas Mitchell, and council member Adam Ledbetter was absent.

A phone call was made to Ledbetter, who was at work, and he arrived at the meeting a few minutes later, making the quorum and allowing the call for the special election to move forward.

The election had earlier been certified by the Jackson County Board of Elections.

Voting timeline: Early voting for the special recall election will begin Dec. 23 and run through Jan. 3 at the Jackson County Elections Office in Jefferson.

Early voting will then move to the Braselton precinct location on Jan. 6-10. That precinct is closer to Hoschton than the Jefferson office.

Election day voting will be held on Jan. 14 at the Hoschton Depot.

The background: The recall move against Cleveland and Kenerly has been an on-going drama since May when one council member said that Kenerly had initially removed a job application for the city administrator position because he was a black man. Cleveland said he supported Kenerly and added that he didn't believe in interracial relationships.

That created a firestorm in the small town and when calls for the two to resign were rebuffed, a recall group began the lengthy process of gathering signatures for a recall vote. The issue wound up in court where a judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence to allow the recall to move forward. Kenerly appealed, but lost.

What's next: If either one, or both, are recalled in January, a special election will be held in early March to fill the vacant seats. There is some question as to how, or even if, the city council could function between January and March if both are recalled.

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