Pensacola City Councilman John Jerralds started off his organizational meeting for the Gulf Coast African-American Chamber of Commerce by asking the group’s current head to list its officers. GCAACC Chairman George Hawthorne replied that he had no vice chairman, secretary or treasurer.
“Well, what we’re looking at, unfortunately, is a dysfunctional organization,” Jerralds said.
The city councilman has been challenging Hawthorne for months on the validity of the GCAACC. Hawthorne has said the organization is regrouping, and more recently indicated he wanted to work with Jerralds.
“We are willing to work with this group,” Hawthorne told Jerralds at the meeting. “Clearly, may position is we need to work together.”
Jerralds maintained that Hawthorne was a “one-man show” and told those preset for the meeting that the GCAACC needed retooling. He requested anyone willing to sit on the new group’s board to sign up; after the meeting he said there were plenty of takers for a quorum, between 12 and 15.
Hawthorne left before the meeting ended, and provided a statement today announcing his resignation. Jerralds said afterwards he had no interest in working with the GCAACC head.
“For what? What the hell for?” Jerralds said. “I have no use for him. He has no use for this community.”