Snellville City Council met on Sept. 10 for its first regular council meeting of the month.
Here are some of the highlights.
- Mayor Kautz shared that the Deep South Classic basketball tournament would like to be sponsored by the city of Snellville. No further action was taken.
- Jim Brooks, Executive Director of the Evermore CID, was present to discuss expanding the CID into the City. The issue was postponed and will be discussed at the next council meeting after another meeting is called to hammer out the details. The expansion would be down Highway 78.
- There are three vacancies on the Arts Commission.
The public council meeting began with a moment of silence for Hannah Rinehart, who passed away on Wednesday, and was followed by a proclamation in honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Most issues on the agenda were postponed for the next meeting. Joe Williams of the Planning Commission was scheduled to report but was not present. Tod Warner, chair of the Urban Redevelopment Agency, gave an update. He emphasized the incentives that Opportunity Zones will provide prospective businesses and the significance of redeveloping areas of town that need it.
The council then gave their reports, which included councilman Bobby Howard discussing the art on display at City Hall and Aimee Copeland's homecoming party scheduled for Friday. Dave Emanuel gave a report on summer activities in Snellville, while Diane Krause encouraged everyone to donate their time to making a difference in people's lives.
Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts spoke about the Veterans Memorial, which he has devoted countless hours to, while councilman Mike Sabbagh spoke about Mark Rinehart, who teaches Sabbagh's son at South Gwinnett and encouraged the audience to pray for the family and Rinehart's students.
Mayor Kelly Kautz discussed the Snellville Pride parade and a proposed Taste of Snellville, along with an MLK March coming up this year, among other things.
George Anderson, , spoke before the council. He was given five minutes to speak.
He questioned when the council would form a committee to look into the ethics violations he filed against Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts. Anderson claims that Witts "false sweared" and was ineligible for public office because of back taxes.
Witts, as well as City Attorney Tony Powell, claim that there is no basis for Anderson's ethics complaint, and that the money was always accounted for.
Members of the audience were counting down the minutes until Anderson was done speaking, literally.
Once Anderson was finished, former councilman Tod Warner spoke on Witts' behalf. He said he was one of the council members who drafted the council's ethics code, and that he personally owed taxes when he was sworn into office. He referred to Anderson as a "hired gun."
"Maybe the easiest way to put this whole thing to bed is for you to bring it up, vote it down and be done," he said to the council. "One of the big issues with our ethics ordinance has always been that it could be used as a hammer to beat on a political opponent or be improperly used by someone with an axe to grind."
Kurt Schulz spoke next, saying that he does not have anyone "paying him" to say what he had to say.
"[Tom Witts] has done more than anyone in the short time he has been on this council," he said. "Thank you, Tom. I would have six of you up there."
Katherine Creasey changed the subject, saying "what an asset" Briscoe Park is. She wanted to praise the ones that kept it up so neat.