Snellville Council bickering continues

SNELLVILLE -- The bickering on the Snellville City Council continued on Monday night, as each faction staked out its position.

What the Council agreed on was to amend the city's alcohol ordinance to allow for alcohol to be served in an art shop. Otherwise, the well-known positions about the issue of where the power lies to hire or fire the city attorney remained the same as previous meetings this month. The division largely remained between Mayor Kelly Kautz and Councilman Mike Sabbagh against Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts, Council members Bobby Howard, Dave Emanuel and Diane Krause.

Emanuel and Kautz disagreed on whether the mayor, or chair, should remain impartial during a discussion.

As has been the case at recent meetings, the discussion landed on interpretation of Roberts Rules of Order, and parliamentary procedure.

Kautz and Witts both referred to each other as bullies, and in closing remarks, Howard played two videos that showed how Kautz has conducted previous meetings and asked rhetorically who among the mayor and Council is moving the city forward, and who is not.

Witts said he was "exasperated" at the proceedings, and did not like being part of a group that's labeled "dysfunctional,"

Kautz agreed with Howard that the disagreements must stop, and added "just because we're elected, doesn't mean we can do what we want."

A hearing about the lawsuit that Kautz brought earlier this month against Witts, Howard, Krause, Emanuel and City Attorney Tony Powell has not been scheduled. Powell has attended meetings since Kautz said she fired him last month, but has not sat among the Council.

Interim city attorneys Kautz appointed Dec. 13, the same day Powell was fired by Kautz resigned on Jan. 17. Since Kautz doesn't acknowledge Powell as the city attorney, she said the city doesn't currently have legal representation to replace Nola Jackson and Karen Woodward of Cruser and Mitchell. Kautz said she has received two resumes, but hasn't appointed another attorney.

At a work session before the Council meeting, Witts circulated a letter he mailed over the weekend to 420 residents in the Summit Chase community about the issues with lower Johnson Lake. Witts wrote in the letter that the responsibility for the damage to a standpipe lies completely with the contractor, and not the city or the Summit Chase homeowners association.

The issues began in 2010 when a standpipe failed and a berm holding water in was breached, which led to water pouring out of the pipe.

Options to fix the situation have been discussed for several months, including how much the city and HOA would pay. The city has paid $30,000 in repairs so far, and has a $95,000 estimate to completely repair the situation, according to Witts' letter.

Witts wrote in the letter that a town hall meeting will be scheduled "in the near future" to further discuss the issue.

The Council recognized Dr. Richard Carlin, a "community hero," and the first ophthalmologist in the city, who opened his practice in 1977. Another community hero was Tisha Rowland, who Council members applauded for buying meals for children at a "Shop with a Cop" event last month. And the Snellville Senior Center's 2012 Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Joanne Fuller, after she worked more than 100 volunteer hours last year.


kevin 2 years, 7 months ago

And the Fat Lady sings again.


Bobbyhoward 2 years, 7 months ago

A key piece of information was left out of the reporters story last night in Snellville.....

I would like to offer everyone the oppprtunity to review for yourself a recent statement by the mayor on video, that her actions regarding a recent lawsuit did not " cost the city a penny" It is a downright blatant false statement. This lawsuit was settled out of court because City could not defend the actions of the mayor and her taking away a citizens 1st Ammendment Rights. Insurance Settled for $15,000.00 and cost the city another $7300.00 of our taxpayer dollars...( http://snellville.patch.com/articles/city-pays-15-000-to-settle-swinney-lawsuit )...See for yourself and decide if you can support this type of behavior.. as a member of this council..I will not accept this and I don't spend city taxpayer dollars in a wasteful manner.

What the Mayor say’s here on video….. "not a penny"

Start video at 30:18 and stop at 30:25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7OMft...

“No sir it did not. It didn't cost the city a penny”.

What it really COST the City:

$ 1000.00 the deductible on our insurance……. $ 1385.00 Paid to the law firm Cruser & Mitchell $ $ 5000.00 to our current city attorney. Increase in rates from Insurance Carrier ?????????

Not sure what the mayor’s definition of “not a penny” is, but my math adds up to nearly $ 7300.00 of your taxpayer money!

This was shown at the Meeting of Council 1-29-2013

Bobby Howard Snellville City Council


R 2 years, 7 months ago

"Kautz agreed with Howard that the disagreements must stop, and added "just because we're elected, doesn't mean we can do what we want."

So states the founding member of the "Attorney of the Month" club.

Attention Snellville residents! Get your personal seat licenses to see the action in person, hurry space is limited.

Popcorn, get your Popcorn here!
Beer, get your COLD Beer here!

(Have to admit it does have that Carny feel doesn't it?)

Dear Dave, Sir you do have my sympathies.


DaveEmanuel 2 years, 7 months ago

R- Thanks for the thoughts. I believe the citizens of Snellville are far more deserving of your sympathies than I am. When I decided to run for City Council, I knew that we would have to deal with shameless grandstanding and political posturing if Kautz became mayor. I didn't anticipate the depth of what I consider to be a bottomless cesspool of lies and deceptive practices. However, I did sign up to serve the citizens of Snellville, and if that requires dealing with the carnival I think Kautz has created, so be it; we're still getting good things done for the city.It is unfortunate, however, that members of Council have to spend so much time dealing with needless and counter-productive drama when we could be devoting that time to positive activities.


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