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. 

. 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. 

Moving on. 

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. 

Kenneth Stepp January 10, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Wow! She just adds insult to injury. Disrespecting her is very different from disrespecting the office. Respect is earned. Leadership is what is called for. She hasn't shown the leadership, integrity, or proper respect for the people she suppose to serve. She's "Out Of Order" again.
Concerned citizen January 10, 2013 at 01:58 AM
She acts like a child who doesn't get her way. How embarrassing for Snellville. I'm ashamed to say I was raised there.
Matt Czarick January 10, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Well said Kenneth.
Josh January 10, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Such a mess. Even if the Mayor was being wrongfully ganged up on, walking out of a meeting? Trying to assert her power to "order". Such baloney. I wonder at what point she will realize the harder she tried to assert her "power" the more she loses and continues to look like she cannot hear anything that opposes her position. Learn to let others talk. This whole debacle is so distracting to the duties of our Local Government. The amount of time and energy being asserted on city time needs to be stopped. They are not elected to get along, they are elected to be professional and conduct city business. Imagine if you were a manager in a business with this kind nonsense going on. There would be a lot of people looking for a job. Too bad our city government is "above" the standards us lowly citizens adhere to. Shame on the mayor for setting the example of unprofessional and self-absorbed behavior. It's very telling who was still sitting after the second "recess" and who left the room. Madame Mayor, time to act like a leader or MOVE out of the way, because the only point your proving by letting the city run like this, is that your top interest are self-serving and NOT the City of Snellville's.
Concerned citizen January 10, 2013 at 02:27 AM
And, look at all the legal bills that Snellville is accruing.... How will they cover them? Move the city limit signs out further so you can tax even more people?
Jack Blutoski January 10, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Cruser & Mitchell did not file a lawsuit on behalf of mayor Kautz.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 03:13 AM
They filed an emergency injunction.
Lenora Church January 10, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Admittedly I arrived at the meeting late, finding out that it wasn't cancelled at the last minute. Having said that all I can remark upon is what I saw for the time I was there. I saw a Bully alright, and it wasn't any of the gentlemen sitting on the elevated platform. It was the person who holds the title of Mayor. She bullied Mr Powell, the parliamentarian, and consistently belittled and verbally shut down other members of council. The people I spoke with after meeting, including some of her supporters, were appalled at her behavior and condescending attitude. Every citizen should see how this woman represents them, I have enough faith in people that I believe that they would not stand for this behavior from their 8 year old child let alone their "Mayor".
Grant January 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Hey Kelly... Not "personally notified" eh? Steaming load there .. If I was aware of the meeting you most certainly were , if indeed your goal is to work with council and solve pressing issues instead of avoiding meetings like and whining about "not being notified " I'd suggest you willingly attend and actually put forth some effort into solving problems instead of attempting to hide from them . Sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming lalalalalalalalala just doesnt get anything done there Kel .. Grow up .
Pat Binger January 10, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Maybe hazybuck (from the comments on the meeting announcement article) will share some views from the alternate universe on this meeting.
Pat Binger January 10, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I heard that the Mayor fired the attorney who was in the middle of arguing her case on the emergency injunction. It can't be long for Cruser & Mitchell to be causalty number 5 in the attorney parade. They did agree with Tony Powell and disagreed with the Mayor on several points. Rule #1 to keeping a job with the Mayor---NEVER, NEVER, NEVER disagree with her. I wonder if that was in the "contract".
Jack Blutoski January 10, 2013 at 04:01 PM
no they did not. She had her own attorney. Go get the pleadings yourself from the court.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 04:07 PM
OK... I think I'm a little confused about what you're referencing. You're saying she used her own lawyers to file the injunction, and not the city attorneys?
Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Thanks for the tip, Jack. Updating the story now.
Michelle Couch January 10, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Honestly, it's almost impossible to keep up with the all the CA's going through the revolving door at Snellville City Hall.... just saying!
Dave Emanuel January 10, 2013 at 09:42 PM
This will sound strange because it will almost seem like a defense of Kautz. While I can't disagree with any of the comments posted above, let's keep in mind that the intent of the specially called meeting was not to discredit anyone, but to bring clarity to some sections of the charter so that we can more effectively and more efficiently conduct the city's business. I know that sounds like a typical "politician's statement", but that doesn't alter the fact that my purpose in running for Council was to help make Snellville an even better place to live and work. I would like to be able to spend more time doing that and less time dealing with "procedural issues".
Lenora Church January 11, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Mr Emmanuel, I respect what you and the other true council members do, and your courage and resilience. Although your intent was not to discredit anyone, you cannot prevent an overbearing BULLY from discrediting herself.
Pat Binger January 11, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Amen, Lenora Church, Amen.
Dave Emanuel January 12, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Thank you. Unfortunately, I believe "bullying" is the least of the problems we're dealing with. When an elected official considers himself or herself above the constraints of a constitution or charter, that's the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power, which is the definition of tyranny. Many people have fought and too many have died defending our nation against tyranny- we would be dishonoring those people if we didn't fight against tyranny in Snellville.
Get_the Facts_Straight January 17, 2013 at 06:29 PM
This is the most biased piece of crappy writing I have read in a long time. Pretty pathetic when an organization representing to tell the news only tells one biased side and can't even get the facts straight but instead publishes clearly false heresay and is called on it by commentaries. You are a disgrace to the media, if that is what you purport to be.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Which facts in particular are you referring to? Both sides of the story are clearly represented. Patch is part of the media, but we are nontraditional. In other words, we don't always write things in the traditional style. (For example, the sentence that reads "Moving on.") Other than that, I'm happy to hear which part you consider biased.


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