Recall election for Hawkins; Roden’s recall disqualified

Recall election for Hawkins; Roden’s recall disqualified

Recall election for Hawkins; Roden’s recall disqualified
February 03
14:57 2016

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer

@falconpunch_

There will be a recall election for Denton councilman Joey Hawkins May 7, and councilman Kevin Roden appears to be in the clear from his own recall.

The City Council decided Tuesday to honor a recall petition for Hawkins filed by Denton residents in a 7-0 vote. The same day, Denton officials announced Roden’s recall petition was disqualified because of a technicality.

The city requires recall paperwork to count the number of signatures on each page of the petition and sign an affidavit verifying the number of signatures is correct. Because about 18 pages did not fulfill that requirement, the city voided it.

Hawkins had two recall petitions filed against him. The first, like Roden’s, was disqualified because of a technically. If locals decide to again fill petition against Roden, they are approaching a hard deadline. The deadline to include a recall vote on the May ballot is Feb. 19.

Hawkins himself voted for the recall, and said that he encourages any and all citizens to email, call or meet up with him to discuss any concerns they may have.

“I hope to continue to serve District 4,” Hawkins said. “I voted for the recall too, I understand it’s the ordinance and the charter, and they followed all the rules. I voted on it to be on the ballot, you can’t just pick and choose the laws you want to obey. They followed all the rules.”

Vietnam Veteran and former school board member voices his concerns to the Denton City Council board.  Tristan Miller | Staff Photographer

Vietnam veteran and former school board member Willie Hudspeth voices his concerns to the Denton City Council board. Tristan Miller | Staff Photographer

Both Roden and Hawkins were put on blast by local activists upset with their votes to repeal the hydraulic fracturing ban, an ordinance pushed through the Council with the movement from energy activists after a bout with oil and gas companies and lobbyists.

About half of the packed city council chamber Tuesday night was filled with people wearing”We Support Joey” t-shirts, including Denton former councilwoman Pete Kamp, who said she believes that the recall for Hawkins is unfair.

“I am here to speak against the recall vote, but we understand very much the democratic process,” Kamp said. “There is some misunderstanding also. Yes, we do have ways to recall people for reasons, the reasons for this recall aren’t some of them.”

Animosity from the repeal of the fracking ban is pointed at the City Council in more than one way. Along with the recall movement, activists are also debating the practicality and environmental impact of the city’s proposed energy plan, which city officials said will rely on renewable energy resources. The problem, however, is it includes two natural gas powered plants.

Councilwoman Kathleen Wazny said that she agrees 100 percent with the final decision.

“I believe in the process because we live in a democracy,” Wazny said. “It was legal. My speech was different because it’s true that democracy is messy. If you are not going to have [a] disagreement, then it’s not a democracy.”

Both Hawkins and Kamp said they hoped for a positive voter turn-out, based on past voting experiences, and Denton being known for having a low voter turn-out at elections.

“In District 4, I hope we have an overwhelming majority of people to come support Joey,” Kamp said. “We have to vote no to the recall to support him, and I think an incredible amount of people will do so.”

Councilman Dalton Gregory said he was voting on the recall simply because he swore he would support the city’s charter when he was elected.

“This vote should not be interpreted as my supporting,” Gregory said. “This is frivolous, measly, vindictive, petty and other adjectives not suitable for this setting. Those who created the city charter kept the rules vague because it was impossible to anticipate a recall. You don’t have to have a good reason to have a recall, you just need a reason. I think they misused the rules, and I hope to see a revision in the near future.”

Featured Image: Denton City Council members Kevin Roden and Greg Johnson ask questions concerning the former statement made by a Denton County resident. Tristan Miller | Staff Photographer

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1 Comment

  1. NTR
    NTR March 30, 17:10

    How quaint that the City Council will act to support the very document they swore to uphold. Now that is news you can use… And thank God for the ‘rules’ or we would have a dictatorship, which is akin to precisely what Gregory hints at advocating when ‘we rewrite those rules.’ Let me ask you (the reader) something. If the charter was so ‘vague’ BEFORE the recalls occurred, and this is where you need to pay attention Dalton, then it was ‘vague’ before these ‘frivolous’ recall attempts. You can’t dispute that fact. And, so stay with me here… if the charter was ‘vague’ before, and you were on the city council before, why did you not push to have the charter rewritten to correct those defects at that time? Or are you admitting that, as a city council person, you lack the foresight to critically read the charter, recognize serious flaws, and then to push to correct those defects BEFORE problems arise? Wait, this is starting to sound like the generalized incompetence, back-room-dealing, and good-ole-boy-meet-up-at-the-Jupiter-house-to-run-the-city that we have had in Denton for many years now. Hmm, maybe that is why we are having that recall. Nah, makes too much sense.

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