With Snellville city attorney out, Kautz calls out council

SNELLVILLE -- A short-lived but controversial tenure came to an end Monday night for Snellville City Attorney Stuart Oberman, his resignation made public on a night when Mayor Kelly Kautz called the city council "not willing to work to move our city forward."

Oberman's resignation comes just a few short months after Kautz appointed him in November, amid dissension over his billings to the city and a few weeks after the council decided to appoint its own attorney. While Kautz took Monday night's city council meeting to wish him luck in his future endeavors -- "hopefully they won't be pro bono like this has been" -- Councilman Dave Emanuel tried to explain he and his colleagues' actions in not paying for his billed services.

He called the issue one of "quality and accuracy."

"I don't think it's proper for the city to pay for services that were either incomplete," Emanuel said, "or with one opinion put forth on one occasion and the contrary opinion put forth on another occasion."

Four council members voted earlier this month to retain separate legal counsel in the form of former City Attorney Tony Powell, a move Kautz has said is fraught with conflict of interest. She said she offered to make Powell's firm Snellville's official partner as long as Powell himself was not voted in, but to no avail.

Powell was at Monday's meeting, but slipped out after Kautz removed a scheduled discussion regarding the city attorney situation from the agenda.

In the meantime, the mayor said she had narrowed down her search for a new city attorney to two candidate firms, and hoped to make a decision in the coming days. She said neither firm is based in Gwinnett or has "any political connections."

"To be honest with you," she said, "either firm would be an asset to our city."

During Monday's meeting, Kautz also made formal nominations for positions on the Board of Appeals (John Mitchell) and Planning Commission (Dexter Harrison). Councilman Mike Sabbagh made each motion but no other council member would second either one, leaving both nominations dead in the water.

"It became apparent tonight ... that regardless of what appointments I would put up, that this council is not willing to work to move our city forward," Kautz said in her closing comments. "Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Harrison are fine, outstanding citizens. They would have served our boards well."


MissDaisyCook 3 years, 6 months ago

You gotta feel sorry for the citizens of Snellville. The continuous gaggle of fools in the council and mayor's office are at best a joke. More likely misfeasance and petty turf wars. This is what happens when small minded people are given a little bit of authority.


Karl 3 years, 6 months ago

"...Kautz called the city council "not willing to work to move our city forward."

Translation--"The city council will not cave in to the dictatorial manner by which I wish to rule my kingdom."


jack 3 years, 6 months ago

Snellville- where everybody is somebody, unless the city council deems anybody to be a nobody.


Snake 3 years, 6 months ago

"Feel sorry for the citizens of Snellville?" Seriously? These folks voted in this wanna be and her council of fools!


mustardandbiscuit 3 years, 6 months ago

I can't help but wonder how far forward the city might have moved by now if Mrs. Bender had been elected instead of Ms. Kautz?


Karl 3 years, 6 months ago

Kautz is a puppet of the obstructionists who put her in power. They yearn to return Snellville to the 1950s. She is their toady.


jlong 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow. Did each of you just read the same article? Did you miss the part where Kautz offered a compromise? It appears to me that Kautz has offered the olive branch over and over only to be hit in the head with it. Kautz allowed Witts to be elected Mayor Pro Tem and now she offered to make Powell's firm the City Attorney. It's obvious that Witts and his 3 puppets don't care about Snellville they just want to throw around their power. The 2013 election cannot arrive fast enough.


Karl 3 years, 6 months ago

You must be new to the area.


news2me 3 years, 6 months ago

Kautz just keeps making a name for herself. I hope she likes her official future - former Mayor portrait, as that was what was important to her just yesterday.


R 3 years, 6 months ago

WOW - This just makes the EVERMORE CID look GOOD!


PPlank 3 years, 5 months ago

Jlong: Yeah but maybe you should actually go to the meetings. The Mayors concept of an olive branch is banging the gavel and yelling "Your out of order". She did not "Allow" Mr Witts to be mayor pro tem, her boy Mike stepped down... (in guise due to work stuff, in actual to avoid an ethics investigation) You really need to wake up and smell the coffee because you've either drank the koolaid or just plain don't pay attention.


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