(Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor sent by George Anderson, a citizen who filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts last year. The statements made are the opinion of the author, and they do not represent the views of Snellville Patch.
For background information on this letter, scroll to the bottom of the story.)
I make a Formal Apology to all Citizens of Snellville, Georgia, as well as, the City of Snellville elected officials for the following errors and misjudgments:
I have been educating voters, as well as, monitoring elected officials across the State of Georgia for, almost, 20 years. However, I came into your fair City last year with biased feelings/judgmental feelings regarding some of your elected officials. That was not like me and I don’t want it to define me. I’m better than that. I only can blame health issues and not exhibiting the patience I should have displayed.
Over the past 17 years, I have had featured stories seen on CNN, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all the Atlanta television stations regarding my successful attempts to hold our State and Local officials accountable to the people of “we the people”.
“All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. Public officers are trustees and servants of the people and are at all times amenable to them.”
I humbly ask your forgiveness for entering your City uninvited and, in turn, I was not received very well by many City of Snellville citizens. I wanted to help. I wanted to wake-up the public officials to their fiduciary responsibilities, as well as, wake-up citizens to the politics coming before public service by elected Council men and women.
Their two roles for public officers:
A. The Public officers are established as trustees of the people.
B. The public officers have a fiduciary relationship with their constituents.
It is my sincere belief that I am unable to affect change through Complaints, Public speaking, or by joining into blogging online. Hereto, I must apologize and share with you all that I have advised people for many, many years not to blog online. I would advise them that you do not want to go down in the dirt to their level…but the last several months found me not taking my own advice.
O.C.G.A. 45-10-1 was created by the Georgia General Assembly back in 1968 as Code of Ethics for Government Service:
1. Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or government department/government elective office.
2. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and the State of Georgia and of all governments therein and never are a party to their evasion.
3. Give a full day’s labor for a full day’s pay and give to the performance of his duties his earnest efforts and best thought.
4. Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.
5. Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not and never accept, for himself or his family, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his or her governmental duties.
6. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the public duties of office, since a government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.
7. Engage in no business with the government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his or her governmental duties.
8. Never use any information coming to him or her confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means for making private profit.
9. Expose corruption wherever discovered.
10. Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.
The City of Snellville is a member of the Georgia Municipal Association and therefore, has agreed to adhere to the following Ethics Code:
A. Serve others, not ourselves
B. Use resources with efficiancy and economy
C. Treat all people fairly
D. Use the power of your position for the well being of our constituents
E. Create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity
I, George Anderson, 211 Saddle Mountain Road S. E. Rome, Georgia 30161, sincerely traveled on three previous occasions with a fourth visit on Monday, February the 11th to help the citizens of Snellville, GA.
I state, for the record, that I dropped all Complaints against Officials in Snellville, requesting the City of Snellville, Georgia drop Civil Action # 12-A-09906-5.
At this stage, Chief Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Conner, Judge Turner, Judge Clark, Judge Batchelor, Judge Davis, Judge Schrader, and Judge Hutchinson have recused themselves from this Civil Action of City of Snellville vs. Anderson, et al. I am upset greatly by the expense being charged the city by former City Attorney Powell and Councilmen Witts & Emanuel’s Attorney, Christopher C. McClurg, Esq.
A State Bar Complaint has been sent in for review/investigation regarding Anthony O. P. Powell.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak at Monday evening's meeting, as well as through this “Letter to the Editor.”
For further reading: