North Texas Daily

Joey Hawkins faces recall election

Joey Hawkins faces recall election

Joey Hawkins faces recall election
April 21
02:47 2016

Jynn Schubert | Staff Writer

@JynnWasHere

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer

@falconpunch_

A special election will take place on May 7 for residents to decide if current District 4 seat holder Joey Hawkins should be recalled or not.

Residents and local activists were not happy when Hawkins voted to overturn the fracking ban in Denton, and petitioned the city for him to resign. There have also been complaints by his constituents of a lack in communication.

“I don’t agree with the reasoning, but it’s on the books for a reason,” Hawkins said. “We will see what will happen on May 7.”

The petition began when Theron Palmer and his wife Elida Temez tried to meet with Hawkins late last year to discuss a list of grievances and were later ignored, they said.

“We contacted Joey and wanted to share with him a list of grievances we had,” Temez said. “He said he wasn’t good at responding to emails, and it was obvious to us he wasn’t going to do anything about it after waiting for a response for a few weeks. Recall was our only course.”

Though he might not agree with the reasoning, Hawkins has expressed support for his constituents exercising their civil rights, and even voted in favor of the recall to be on the ballot. Other Denton citizens are happy to see the people doing what they can for what they believe in.

“I’m all for checks on power and I’m happy to see people participating in providing oversight for their elected officials,” said Michael Leza, who lives in District 2. “It’s good for his district either way, if they don’t want him they can toss him out and if they do and he survives the election then it should give him a mandate to quiet his critics with.”

District 3 councilwoman Kathleen Wazny said that if Hawkins is recalled, the city council would continue with six people until the next election in November.

“We live in a democratic society, and our charter allows for a recall,” Wazny said “It is Denton’s constitution. It is the democratic right of the people if they want to recall a city council member. I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and the democracy.”

If the seat for District 4 remains vacant until November, council’s operations generally won’t change.

“Joey can run for the seat again, but others could run as well,” Wazny said. “All of the city council members take care of the city and represent the city of Denton. We may be elected from our certain districts, but we represent the whole city.”

A group of residents in District 4 met up and compiled a petition, which was sent to city hall in November. The petition had a total of 125 signatures on it.

“I hope we recall Joey Hawkins and establish some standards for what we expect from representation.” Cindy Spoon, a UNT alum who worked closely with Temez and Palmer, said.

One of the biggest concerns raised by his constituents was the apparent lack of communication.

“He never responded to any of our emails until after the recall process was initiated,” Spoon said.

Temez said she hopes this recall election will open the eyes of her neighbors and benefit them in the end.

If he survives the recall, Hawkins said he’ll continue to focus on small business in Denton.

Featured Image: Council member Joey Hawkins discusses Denton city liquor sales at the city council meeting. File Photo

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