Residents in the Seversville neighborhood elected a new slate of officers on Wednesday, ending what had been a weeks-long leadership struggle with its former president, Amar Johnson.
On April 5, a group of residents voted 53-0 to remove Johnson as president of the Seversville Community Organization, a position he held for two years. The residents cited a list of allegations, including claims that Johnson squashed descent and failed to fill board seats.
Johnson, who is running for a seat on Charlotte City Council, denied allegations of wrongdoing. In an interview with QCity Metro shortly after the no-confidence vote, he blamed the turmoil on what he described as a small group of residents who did not want him in office. He said he would not step down as neighborhood president.
Much of the neighborhood tension centered on Johnson’s efforts to rename the racially diverse community, which took on the name of a prominent 19th-century family with ties to the Confederacy. Johnson’s critics, some of whom are Black, allege he began the renaming effort without first getting neighborhood consensus.
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On Thursday, J’Tanya Adams, who had preceded Johnson as neighborhood president, said the association had not heard from Johnson since the vote was taken to remove him from office.
“It was a lot for [Seversville residents] to become a public spectacle that was not of their making,” she said. “But now they are becoming comfortable that they can create the appropriate narratives.”
Adams said residents voted 26-0 on Wednesday to install an interim vice president, treasurer, secretary, assistant secretary, and parliamentarian. Some of the positions had been open for years, she said. The residents also formed bylaws and events committees.
Adams said filling these positions erected some much-needed “guard rails” for the community.
Seversville resident Ray Feaster was named interim president as a result of the earlier vote to remove Johnson.
QCity Metro reached out to Johnson for comment but he didn’t respond.
Adams, like other residents, looks forward to moving past the public drama the community has endured in recent weeks.
“I am relieved and elated that we are now able to go back to who we were,” Adams said.
Adams stated the new board will continue to do extensive research on the neighborhood’s history and will partner with a marketing company to continue its rebranding efforts.
This article was published as part of our West End Journalism Project, which is funded by a grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.