Flyer Slamming Mayor Circulated In Hartford Ahead Of Recall Vote

HARTFORD (KFSM) -- An question on the Nov. 8 ballot is dividing the small town of Hartford.

Residents will be voting on whether to recall Mayor James Baker and ahead of the election, a flyer is circulating around town stating Baker lacks honest, ethics and good judgement.

Baker called it dirty politics, but Jamie and Judge Ackerson disagree.

"He's not good to the citizens," Jamie Ackerson said Monday (Oct. 31).

The Ackersons moved to Hartford in March 2015. They said they agree with everything on the flyer and called the mayor untrustworthy and a procrastinator.

"We've got a water tower that needs to be cleaned and repaired and for months it hasn't been done," Judge Ackerson said.

Baker said there is a reason the water tower has not been repaired yet.

"The reason we haven't gotten on it yet is we're waiting on one more inspection to get a price," he explained.

The Ackersons also complained the streets and ditches were not properly maintained.

"I'd like to see more businesses in town," Ackerson said. "One way to do that is to make the town pretty."

Baker said that it all comes down to money.

"You've got to look at the access we have to the finances," he said. "I have applied for grants for the city streets."

While it is unclear who wrote the flyer, it accuses the mayor of spending money on things not approved in the city budget. The mayor said that’s simply not true and would like to see proof.

"I am not sure where that comes from," he said.

The letter also attacks his personal financial problems.

"City council controls how much I get paid," he said. "I can only do with what I've got."

The mayor also has plenty of supporters, including Stephanie Robinson, who calls the flyer shocking and untrue. She said that she took the remark regarding his finances personally.

"It made me wonder if they felt like all the other people in Hartford that struggle are an embarrassment to Hartford," Robinson said.

Baker said he believes he can help the city progress.

"I want to see the city grow," Mayor Baker said. "I've been making headway towards that. If I can get some more businesses in town, then I believe the city will grow."

The Ackersons said they want to see the mayor follow through on his promises.

"It's like nothing ever happens," Ackerson said. "I hope that everyone will vote to get him out. so we can get someone in that will start pushing through and getting stuff for our city so we can become a great city again."

If the mayor is removed from office, Judy Adair, the recorder-treasurer, will take over until the council appoints a new one, according to the flyer.

Adair declined to comment on camera. Her name is on the petition get the mayor out of office, but she said she’s not involved in the flyer going around town.