CENTERTON, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A group of citizens in Centerton are petitioning for a recall in the Centerton mayoral race.

Jordan Godsey-Good, an organizer of the petition, said she and other community members are upset with some of the events that have unfolded while Mayor Bill Edwards has been in office. Edwards has held the position for the past 12 years.

“There’s a lot of accountability that hasn’t been taken in Centerton, for a lot of years,” said Good.

The petition’s website protests mayor Edward’s handling of recent issues, such as an incident at the local animal shelter. The incident in question involved the former director of the shelter, Cody Wilson, euthanizing two dogs unnecessarily in November. Wilson was fired as a result.

Some citizens have made claims that the mayor knew of inhumane conditions at the shelter since July of this year.

In a race of five people, Edwards won with 48% of the votes. Good argued that shouldn’t have been enough to win.

“I absolutely think that we will accumulate enough signatures. A majority of Centerton has voted against him,” said Good.

Since Edwards was more than 20% above all other opponents in the race, it did not go to a runoff election. Edwards said the voters have made their choice.

“My concern with this is that we just had an election a month ago, and the people spoke,” said Edwards.

Good mentioned allegations of miscommunication between city council members and the mayor. She also said there’s no supervision of department head positions.

She referenced the former head of the Centerton Public Works Department, who was arrested in December 2021 for making over $60,000 of unauthorized purchases working for the city.

“As a mayor, your duties are to keep track of day-to-day activities, supervisors, the department heads. There’s no supervision going on,” said Good.

Mayor Edwards said he did everything that needed to be done when he found out about both separate incidents. He said changes have been made to make sure those situations don’t happen again.

“We are a growing city. It’s unfortunate that this is happening, but we put some things in place to keep this from happening,” said Edwards.

As for communication, Edwards said he wants to get better at communication. However, he said he wants input and phone calls from members of the community so that he can hear the community’s needs.

“It takes all of us working together. I mean, if someone sees I’m not communicating with them, pick up the phone and call me if you see a problem. I would be happy to talk to anybody. If you got some great ideas for more activities, come see me. I want to do these activities too,” said Edwards.

According to Arkansas Code, for recall elections over mayoral positions, 35% of eligible voters must sign the petition for the special election to occur.

The Benton County Clerk’s office reports 11,373 voters as of December 12. That means the petitioners will need approximately 3,980 signatures.