Snellville City Manager Butch Sanders and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts have released statements regarding Sanders' removal from the city.
Mayor Kelly Kautz penned a letter to Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens, asking for a "review and advisory opinion" on whether the city council's approval of Sanders' contract in December conflicted with the city charter and contract law.
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"Yesterday morning I received an email from Mayor Kautz, not a personal visit or even a phone call, stating her difference of opinion with the other five M&C members regarding her interpretation of my employment contract and the proper method for the continuance of my serving in the City Manager's position in Snellville. For 30 years in local government, I have almost always enjoyed, and have never liked anything but, unanimous support for my continued employment. (Heck, for my first 25 years, 5 in McDonough and 20 in Dalton, I never even HAD a contract.) That apparent lack of unanimity is disconcerting, but based on the fact that five of the six elected officials I work for approved a contract extension in a legal, public meeting plus the certainty in our City Charter that the City Manager serves at the pleasure of the entire M&C; I believe I clearly should continue in my position until the proper legal or judicial entity rules otherwise. I do not like being a pawn in anyone's personal game or caught in the middle of this continuing intrasquad battle, but I am comfortable continuing to do my job and carry out the committment I made to this community until a higher authority rules, hopefully definitively and with finality, otherwise."
Witts also released a statement:
"I believe that all the members of council will agree with me that there is no controversy concerning Mr. Sanders competency or employment. At our December [9th] meeting Mr. Sanders was given a vote of confidence when 5 members of the City Council gave him a 3 year extension on his contract.
"Mr. Sanders is the City Manager for the city of Snellville.
"Once again, the Mayor has created negative publicity for Snellville. The five members of council will continue to work for positive change and development in the City. Last November, the citizens of Snellville voted overwhelmingly in favor of the direction that the majority of this council is taking the City, and pleaded for the divisiveness to stop. While the Mayor continues to create a divide, the City council pledges to work diligently to move the City forward."