Petition circulating in Blackshear demands Dennison, Godwin, Sapp resign their council seats

Blackshear residents opposed to the recent actions of city council members Timmy Sapp (District 3), Shawn Godwin (District 5) and Linda Gail Dennison (District 6) have taken another step toward their removal from office.

A petition began circulating in the community last week that calls for Sapp, Godwin and Dennison’s resignation, removal from office or a recall election.

 “We’re trying to go around and see what the constituents want. If we get buy in on it, then maybe it’ll be something we take to the council,” says Mat Boatright, Blackshear resident. “We need to know how many people would support it.”

Boatright raised the question of how an elected official could be removed from office at a council meeting earlier this month. (See related story in The Times’  February 19 edition).

Supporters of the petition will reportedly be going door to door to present their petition to Blackshear residents in an attempt to garner support from all city districts.

According to the petition, the signers “call for the resignation of these council members before Tuesday, March 3. If said council members fail to resign, the signers of this petition support the removal from office and/or recall election as described in this petition.”

Boatright wouldn’t comment as to petitioners’ plans after the March 3 deadline.

The petition claims Sapp, Godwin and Dennison have committed acts of misfeasance, malfeasance and incompetence  which are grounds for removal from office per Section 2.16 of the city charter.

Misfeasance is the performance of a lawful action in an illegal or improper manner, or not performing at all,  while malfeasance in office refers to an unlawful act carried out while acting under one’s official capacity.

The petition also references Georgia law pertaining to grounds for a recall election: “That the official has, while holding public office, conducted himself or herself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public; and that official has committed an act or acts of malfeasance while in office.”

“I just want to do the right thing. A lot of people sit back and don’t want to do anything. I personally have done that long enough,” Boatright told The Times. “If it goes through, it goes through. If it fails, it fails, but at least we can say we tried.”

Sapp and Dennison could not be reached for comment. Godwin chose not to comment on the matter.