SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A petition has been circulating online pushing for the recall of Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.
The standunited.org petition by Jessie Jones has so far received 86 signatures of the more than 3,600 it claims is needed for an official recall.
“We understand and empathize with the challenges of the times, but the choices and public decisions that the mayor has made, some of which are contestably illegal or unconstitutional, are disturbing,” the petition reads.
It suggests a number of incidents where Johnson has had a “disregard for the rule of order,” including his mandatory mask mandate.
“Mayor Johnson would rather the police department neglect their duties and reprioritize their responsibilities to uphold his mask law,” the petition states. “He has bullied the police department and levied relationships to join him and distribute masks around the community and/or write a steep $500 citation.”
During a press conference Thursday regarding Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order suspending mandatory mask mandates, Johnson said he was aware of the petition.
“I work at the pleasure of the people of the city of Savannah,” Johnson said. “And so if someone wants to recall me for doing all that I can to be able to protect our city, protect our children, protect our older folks, protect our businesses — if I’m going to be recalled for that I am guilty as charged.”
An update on the petition discusses a federal lawsuit filed against the city, mayor and city attorney alleging Johnson blocked people from his Facebook page while discussing gun laws. The lawsuit claims the mayor’s actions are illegal and a violation of free speech.