(Update July 28, 2:39 p.m.: )
On Monday, July 23, Snellville city council met for their regularly scheduled council meeting. Things got out of hand, however, during the public comments portion of the evening, when Snellville resident Marilyn Swinney approached the council.
CBS Atlanta's Tough Questions aired the story today at 4 p.m., with a number of re-runs aired later in the afternoon.
Mayor Kautz spoke with Snellville Patch about the incident earlier today. She and Swinney have a long, difficult history, according to Kautz, one that includes name calling and intense moments during council meetings.
When Swinney came to the podium, Kautz said she "knew where it was going."
"I asked for the mike to be turned off so that she would listen to me," she said. "I reminded her of our personal decorum policy, and then had the mike turned back on."
This can be seen in the video.
There have been instances in the past where members of the public have made comments about council members, including the Mayor, that were not in line with the public decorum policy, yet they have been allowed to continue.
In one instance, a citizen called councilman Tom Witts a "liar" and "cheat."
"Should I have enforced it a lot sooner?" Kautz asked. "Probably."
Kautz determined to enforce the policy when she found out that George Anderson, against councilman Tom Witts, would make public comment in a future meeting.
Kautz sent Anderson a letter outlining their public decorum policy (see attached), and assured the council that she would enforce it.
So what was the source of all the sound and fury? According to a video taken during the meeting, Marilyn Swinney approached the council to discuss an issue that came up during the last meeting.
"I missed the last council meeting but I watched the tape," she began. "I was kind of surprised by your mayor's report. You stated that you..."
At that point, she was interrupted by Mayor Kelly Kautz, who asserted that Swinney was "out of order." She then requested that Swinney's microphone be turned off.
"Personal attacks against a member of council are not acceptable," Kautz responded, "so if you want to say something for public comment, we'll continue, but you're out of order on the path you are going."
When Swinney's microphone was turned back on, she continued, saying, "I feel that we do not have leadership. And if we don't have leadership, we will never have a council that works together.
"I feel the leadership that you think you have here in Snellville is not adequate. I suggest the leader of Snellville take the necessary steps to look within and find some leadership techniques, whether it's seminars, books, whatever. Thank you."
after the council meeting, which he shared with Snellville Patch.
Who do you think was out of order? Should Swinney have been allowed to continue, or was the Mayor right in her assessment of the public decorum policy? Tell us in the comments.