The “Can’t we all just get along?” joke seems to have been answered in Snellville, where the city continues to be a punchline because of its inability to conduct business in a civil fashion.
The Snellville soap opera continued this week when Mayor Kelly Kautz filed a lawsuit filed in Gwinnett Superior Court, asking for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction against all five members of the city council, as well as acting City Manager Butch Sanders and City Clerk Melisa Arnold. Kautz asked a judge to force the aforementioned people to “allow her do her job.”
It’s our opinion that all the players in this situation need to do their jobs, which should be serving, not self-serving. But in Snellville politics the game seems to be to poke and prod long enough to illicit a reaction. At some point the shenanigans need to stop, but that won’t happen until the parties involved can resist the urge to always jab back.
The political infighting is nothing new in Snellville, a saga we chronicle in today’s paper (For “One city’s saga, see 1A). It takes two parties to have a feud, and in Snellville there is plenty of blame to go around. What Snellville residents should expect is governance of their city in open and honest fashion; what they get are allegations, a war of words, and now, a lawsuit.
That’s no way to conduct business, and no way to run a city.
While the mayor has received plenty of criticism, the allegation of illegal meetings is also troubling. Kautz alleges in her lawsuit that the council members have engaged in illegal meetings to conspire against her, gathering in an office on the second floor of City Hall. The Daily Post has asked for the Attorney General’s office to rule on whether or not this violates the state’s Sunshine Act of open government, but whether or not one councilmember was in the doorway it seems to violate the spirit of the law at the very least.
City government shouldn’t be about semantics and personal grudges, but that’s what we keep coming back to in Snellville. It needs to be fixed.
But the reality is this latest lawsuit will do nothing to change those behaviors and everything to ensure the saga continues.