On Tuesday evening October 23rd, members of the Evermore Community Improvement District (CID) got more than they bargained for during a scheduled a meeting with the Snellville City Council to discuss future plans. Their ears were assailed by that stridently bellowed phrase that has become a hallmark of Snellville City Council meetings-- "YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER".
The meeting began calmly enough with Evermore CID Executive Director Jim Brooks leading discussions about the possibility of expanding the Community Improvement District beyond its present boundaries. But when conversation turned to the prolonged lack of city representation on the CID's governing board, the tenor changed dramatically.
The CID board is composed of six elected and two appointed members. One of the appointees is chosen by the city of Snellville, the other by Gwinnett County. Since becoming mayor last November, Kelly Kautz has not nominated anyone to serve on the board, so the city has had no representation for almost a year. Obviously, Kautz didn’t feel there was any urgency in making an appointment. She was also completely unaware that appointed members had a vote on CID activities.
That seemed to be the triggering issue. When Councilman Bobby Howard attempted to explain to Brooks that he was concerned about the city’s ongoing lack of representation, Kautz proclaimed that this was neither the time nor the place to air dirty laundry. Howard took exception to the interruption of his discussion with Brooks, whereupon Kautz bellowed, "YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER". Howard pointed out that he was having a conversation with Brooks, but Kautz persisted with her bellowing, which prompted Howard to leave the meeting. To the amazement of the attendees, Kautz adjourned the meeting shortly thereafter.
Community Improvement Districts are self-taxing entities that can bring substantial improvements to the business districts they serve. However, there are a number of issues to be resolved before a proposal is put before property owners. It’s difficult to resolve those issues when earnest conversation is abruptly terminated and a number of questions remain unanswered. Given the sudden end of the first meeting, it’s hard to envision anything productive resulting from subsequent meetings. So for the foreseeable future, Evermore may be Nevermore.