Longtime Roswell Mayor Jere Wood was removed from office on Thursday after a Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled he had exceeded the city’s term limits.
Wood announced late Thursday afternoon that he will appeal the decision.
“'I will not be seeking reelection this coming November," Wood said. "I will continue to serve the city until my current term comes to an end or the appellate court rules on Judge [Craig] Schwall’s decision.”
Schwall ruled that Wood is ineligible to serve as mayor per the city’s charter. In the ruling, the judge stated that if Wood appealed the decision, the judge’s order would be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal.
The court’s ruling came from a lawsuit filed by Michael Litten, who ran against Wood in the last election.
Wood has held the post since 1997. The court ruled that he was ineligible to run in 2013, when he was last elected. The ruling determined that the city’s term limits, which Wood had supported, should apply retroactively.
“The office of Mayor of Roswell stands vacant and shall be filled pursuant to the terms of the City Charter,” the order reads.
Sandra Sidhom, who is running for mayor, said the controversy is a reflection on the city's current leadership.
"I'm disappointed but not surprised we have come to the point where the Fulton Superior Court has to order Mayor Wood to vacate the office and hand over all materials to the city attorney," Sidholm said. "That it came to this point in the first place is a sign that current leadership is more concerned with their own agenda and status than addressing the critical needs of Roswell."