Snellville: Going off the rails on a Crazy Train

If politicians had walk-up music, this would certainly be the song of choice for Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz.

From today’s Gwinnett Daily Post:

SNELLVILLE — About the only thing the Snellville mayor and city council could agree on Monday night was the sale of beer growlers in the city limits, to which they voted in favor of unanimously.

Nearly everything else could be described by how the group has acted for most of the last year: bickering, name-calling and 4-2 votes.

Only minutes into the regular business and public hearing, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts and Councilman Dave Emanuel disagreed with Mayor Kelly Kautz about if they could amend the agenda to the meeting.

“Why does this have to be like this,” Witts said. “Why do you have to bully?”

Kautz replied, “I think the only bully is you.”

A spirited and contentious specially called meeting of the Snellville City Council on Wednesday ended predictably for those who have followed the group in recent months. Division among the mayor and Council members is very much alive.

In a series of events that began with a 4:30 p.m. press conference called by Mayor Kelly Kautz, and ended about four hours later at the close of the meeting, the day could be summarized in one of Kautz’ statements during the meeting.

“Can we all agree to disagree?”

With Councilman Mike Sabbagh out of town on business, a series of motions and resolutions to establish confidence in attorney Tony Powell were decided by a 4-1 vote. Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts and Council members Bobby Howard, Diane Krause and Dave Emanuel voted in favor of Powell as city attorney, and responsible for duties related to the job description, while Mayor Kelly Kautz voted against each action.

Last month, Kautz dismissed Powell as city attorney in part because of what she said were monthly legal fees that were over budget last fall. Kautz also said Powell has pushed for lawsuits instead of giving opinions on city matters. This is the fourth time since Kautz was elected in 2010 that she and a majority of the council have disagreed on a city attorney choice, and the second time Powell has lost his job.

But if Powell lost his job at all was a bone of contention throughout the day.

Also on Wednesday, Kautz asked a Superior Court Judge for an injunction against the Council to take votes at the meeting. But Kautz withdrew her request for a declaratory judgment against the majority of council about the meeting because she said Judge Timothy Hamil wasn’t inclined to stop a public meeting with elected officials.

Wait. Did she really try to prevent the City Council from doing the only thing that City Councils really must do in order to be effective, vote?
Clearly it’s Mayor Kelly Kautz who is trying to drive the City of Snellville off the rails.

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