City Council Meeting Notes: June 11
If you were not at the Snellville City Council work session and regular meeting, here is a quick wrap-up story. Items included: the interim city manager contract, firearms in city parks and "Coffee with Council."
Snellville City Council met on June 11 for its first regular council meeting of the month
Here is a quick run-down of the major happenings.
1. New Business: Consideration and action on interim city manager contract
Item: Police Chief Roy Whitehead's employment contract as interim city manager is considered.
Summary: According to Tony Powell, Snellville's city attorney, Whitehead has been working in his dual role with no bump in pay, and the new employment contract also does not include a raise of sorts.
"He's really serving selflessly," Powell said Monday.
The chief has been serving as interim city manager since April. The new contract denotes an end date of July 9, but there is some flexibility to extend that if needed, Powell added.
The city hopes to begin interviewing candidates as early as next week, said Mayor Kelly Kautz.
The contract, which was discussed in executive session, was approved unanimusly, 6-0.
2. Work Session Item: Firearms in city parks
Item: Mayor Kelly Kautz discussed creating regulation that bans firearms in city parks.
Summary: Following an incident in Sugar Hill, city council is considering regulations surrounding firearms in areas such as Briscoe Park.
In April, Cumming resident Christopher Proescher was arrested after gun-toting in a city park in Sugar Hill. According to numerous media reports, he was seen by one of Sugar Hill's private security guards, accused of illegally carrying a gun and then subsequently arrested by Gwinnett County Police.
The only problem: It is not illegal to carry guns openly in Georgia. (I could get one, with a permit of course, and walk around Briscoe Park at the moment. No one could do anything.) It is an oft-confused law. Still, it's bothersome to Kautz, and she's hoping to do something about it.
"I'm all for people having the right to carry their weapons," she said, "but, we want to make sure that they're using them properly."
The item is expected back before council at its July 9 work session.
Meanwhile, Proescher -- who was carrying a licensed weapon -- has filed a lawsuit against the Sugar Hill security guard and the Gwinnett County police.
3. Work Session Item and Council Reports: "Coffee with Council"
Item: Councilman Bobby Howard is promoting a special opportunity for citizens to talk to council members.
Summary: Beginning this Saturday, June 16, their will be a tent at the Snellville Farmers' Market where council members in attendance can meet with citizens. The new public forum is expected to continue for the duration of the market.
Those who come to talk to council members will be given a medallion to then take to one of two coffee vendors at the market. Citizens will then return to the tent for conversations with council members.
Howard said the new "Coffee with Council" initiative is "just another venue for our citizenry to get to talk to us."
4. Announcements and Council Reports: Flag Day
Item: Councilman Mike Sabbagh is spearheading Flag Day, which will take place Thursday, June 14.
Summary: At 2 p.m., June 14, the city of Snellville will participate in its first Flag Day. The Flag Day ceremony will take place at the footsteps of the Snellville Police Department.
5. Ceremonial Matters: "Aimee's Weekend"
Item: Mayor Kelly Kautz read into the record a special resolution about Aimee Copeland, and the upcoming weekend dedicated to her.
Summary: Snellville Sizzling Summer weekend is being dedicated to Aimee Copeland, and it is being called "Aimee's Weekend." In part, the resolution read "Whereas, Aimee Copeland is a graduate of South Gwinnett High School and is a somebody from Snellville, and whereas, the Copeland family have been exemplary citizens of our city, and whereas, the faith and optimistic attitude of the Copeland family has been an inspiration to not only Snellville, but the entire country, and whereas, Aimee most of all has inspired everyone in our city with her positive attitudes and will to live."