Recap of Jan. 9 Press Conference Called by Mayor Kelly Kautz
Mayor Kautz: "I'm standing here before you today to say I’m a woman, I'm a wife, I'm an attorney and I'm Mayor of the City of Snellville."
Updated Jan. 10, 1 p.m.
According to Mayor Kelly Kautz, it’s no secret that she and four members of the council do not get along; however, as she reminded her audience during a Jan. 9 press conference, “political bullying” is something she promised to end during her political campaign.
“I’ve tried to put the best interest of the city forward, and have compromised consistently with this council,” she said to a room full of supporters, opponents and media. “I’ve appointed a City Manager, and appointed the City Attorney they requested.”
The press conference was called by the Mayor to discuss what she deems an “illegal meeting” scheduled for Jan. 9.
Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts and councilmembers Dave Emanuel, Bobby Howard and Diane Krause called the meeting. Kautz claimed that the meeting was illegal and invalid because she and councilmember Mike Sabbagh were not personally notified of the meeting.
Here's where some "he said/she said" comes in:
- She said she was not personally notified - that means face-to-face or via the telephone (but not voicemail). So while she knew of the meeting, she was not "personally notified."
- Councilman Bobby Howard said she knew about the meeting and purposefully avoided being personally notified.
- She said that's not true, and that she has been at City Hall and in court, going about her normal business. She claims they went to her place of employment, her father's work and left notices in her front yard, but did not call her.
Because of what she and her attorney deemed an illegal meeting, they filed an emergency injunction in Gwinnett Superior Court to stop the meeting from taking place.
(Editor's note: Patch originally reported that Kautz used Cruser and Mitchell, the new law firm representing the city. That was not the case. She hired a seperate attorney, Robert Patillo, to represent her. During the course of the proceedings, she requested that she represent herself and relieved Patillo of his duties, according to councilman Bobby Howard.)
Although she "believes the legal system should be a last resort, the bickering has gone on long enough," she told the audience.
Another key topic brought up during the meeting was what she considers a disrespect for her office.
"Too often I’ve been labeled by my older male counterparts in council as the little lady or little girl," she said. "I'm standing here before you today to say I’m a woman, I'm a wife, I'm an attorney and I'm mayor of the City of Snellville."
The crowd erupted in wild applause.
But councilmembers called that "a nice soundbite." Neither Emanuel nor Howard admitted to ever calling Kautz "little lady" or "little girl," and said they have never heard Witts say it either.
The injunction against the meeting was not approved.
That's the gist of it. Snellville Patch will update this story, and bring you live coverage of the 7 p.m. meeting.