Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz will appoint a new city clerk and City Manager Butch Sanders will keep his job, according to a settlement reached Friday evening between the mayor and city council.
Both the council and mayor described the compromise as a win but said it may do little to repair internal struggles that lead to the lawsuit after the council approved a new contract with the city manager over Kautz’s objections and Kautz appointed a new city clerk without council’s approval.
“We’ve got some mending to do,” Kautz said. “We’re going to take it from this day forward. … This settlement is worth it to save the taxpayers’ money,” she said of the possibility of thousands of dollars in appeals costs.
“We’re glad it’s over,” said Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts, who said he was disheartened by the “collateral damage” of the case in the loss of Melisa Arnold, a 24-year employee who resigned as the city clerk during the first week of the trial.
“This time the city ate one of its own,” said attorney Laurel Henderson, who said Arnold has not yet decided if she will sue. “She has been absolutely destroyed by the experience. … I think she has been very poorly served by her employer.”