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Snellville's new mayor, council members take oaths

SNELLVILLE -- Newly elected mayor Kelly Kautz and freshman council members Bobby Howard, Diane Krause and Dave Emanuel were sworn into their respective offices in Snellville government Monday evening before a packed house.

Kautz opposed former mayor pro tem Barbara Bender in last week's election. The three council members, while receiving near record numbers of votes, ran unopposed.

Former mayor Jerry Oberholtzer passed the official gavel to Kautz following the swearing-in, with a smile and a comment of "good luck." Kautz took a moment later in Monday's proceedings to thank Oberholtzer for his "11 years of service" to the city, and the standing-room-only crowd gave him a standing ovation.

While it is no secret that, with the exception of councilman Mike Sabbagh, the other council members have been Bender supporters, several outward attempts at offering olive branches Monday were displayed for the audience by the new mayor and some council members. However, several procedural exchanges Monday, particularly between Kautz and councilman Tom Witts, reflected friction and the drawing of a symbolic line in the sand.

One such exchange involved Kautz's assertion that, despite Oberholtzer's former practice of approving a mayor pro tem by the mayor and council, the Snellville city code clearly states that the appointment authority is the mayor's alone. Kautz appointed Sabbagh, and when Witts asked for code references supporting her claim, new city attorney Stuart Oberman cited several. When Witts attempted to further disagree and voice his opposition, Kautz informed the councilman that he was out of order.

Later in the meeting, Kautz said, "We need to represent Snellville as a whole ... we need to come together as a city," adding that she and Oberholtzer will form a transition plan to assure a smooth transfer of authority.

Comments

Karl 3 years ago

Kautz's use of the olive branch was merely to slap the faces of the four council members who supported Barbara Bender.

Kautz will make for one poor mayor and her term will be disastrous for the city.

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Grantri 3 years ago

I would seem that Kaut'z appointment of Sabbaugh as Mayor Pro Tem is outside her authority per the Municipal Code of the City of Snellville . The position of Mayor Pro Tem is to be filled by a majority vote of the City Council NOT by mayoral appointment From the Code. "Section 2.28. - Mayor pro tempore.

By a majority vote, the city council shall elect a council member to serve as mayor pro tempore. The mayor pro tempore shall assume the duties and powers of the mayor during the mayor's disability or absence. Any such disability or absence shall be declared by a majority vote of the city council. The mayor pro tempore shall sign all contracts and ordinances in which the mayor has a disqualifying financial interest as provided in section 2.14 of this Charter. "

Not sure what code Kautz or the newly appointed City attourney were citing but it would seem that there isnt any room for interpretation here . Unless the City Code is more like Pirate Code and is nothing more than rough guidelines to be ignored at a whim..Guessing NOT!

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Danielle 3 years ago

During the campaign I said Kautz would not make a good mayor. But I didn't expect her to prove me right in the very first meeting. The people in snellville are getting a bad deal and they are getting what they voted for. They have a mayor who thinks she can write her own rules and I think she is in for a big shock. I'm not sure what she did is even legal because it might be a violation of state law. Any attorneys out there with an opinion?

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sds08 3 years ago

Here we go again afteer 18 positive months from Snellville. We are again getting negative publicity

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