SNELLVILLE -- By a vote of 4-2 Monday, Snellville council members voted to approve the purchase of a $103,263 mobile stage. Supporters of the move contend that the purchase will save the city money and, eventually, possibly even make some money for the city. Mayor Kelly Kautz and maor pro tem Mike Sabbagh voted against the purchase.
"I think this (purchase) will be a great asset to the city," councilman Dave Emanuel said.
Councilman Tom Witts added that "an awful lot of research went into this," explaining that the city and various organizations pay to rent stages for events throughout the year. Witts went further to estimate that the stage will pay for itself in about 5 years. By renting the show mobile to nonprofits, the city could even make money at some point after that.
Kautz opposed the purchase, saying that she campaigned against buying the stage. Sabbagh opined that the money would be better spent on the purchase of another parcel of land to be used as a city park.
Witts argued that Kautz, as the chair of the council meeting, was out of line voicing her opinion before the vote. Kautz disagreed, but after briefly conferring with the city attorney withdrew her comments.
According to City Manager Russell Treadway, $108,000 in 2009 SPLOST funds had already been set aside for Town Center Park improvements. The mobile stage purchase falls into that category.
Kautz stands by mayor pro tem appointment
In the first City Council meeting following her election, Kautz appointed Sabbagh as the city's new mayor pro tem, declaring that power was hers alone as the mayor. Previously, the mayor pro tem had to be approved by City Council members, but Kautz said that she and the city attorney had actually discovered that the power rests with the mayor alone.
Councilman Dave Emanuel had requested that the mayor's action be reconsidered Monday, but Kautz ruled that "the council does not have the legal authority" to involve itself in the decision. The matter was not heard.
Moratorium placed on personal care, group homes
A moratorium has been placed on the acceptance of applications for permitting personal care and group homes within Snellville city limits as of Monday evening. According to Emanuel, "We need some time to make sure we're in compliance with county regulations."
Crematory officially opposed
By unanimous vote Monday, council members voted to pass a resolution officially stating the city's opposition to a possible crematory along U.S. Highway 78 in Gwinnett County. According to the resolution, a crematory would produce dangerous emissions and negatively impact surrounding property values.
The 1.18 acre parcel of land at issue is situated across from Summit Chase subdivision.