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City Council Meeting Notes: June 11

If you were not at the Snellville City Council work session and regular meeting, here is a quick wrap-up story. Items included: the interim city manager contract, firearms in city parks and "Coffee with Council."

Snellville City Council met on June 11 for its first regular council meeting of the month

Here is a quick run-down of the major happenings.

1. New Business: Consideration and action on interim city manager contract

Item: Police Chief Roy Whitehead's employment contract as interim city manager is considered.

Summary: According to Tony Powell, Snellville's city attorney, Whitehead has been working in his dual role with no bump in pay, and the new employment contract also does not include a raise of sorts.

 "He's really serving selflessly," Powell said Monday.

The new contract denotes an end date of July 9, but there is some flexibility to extend that if needed, Powell added.

The city hopes to begin interviewing candidates as early as next week, said Mayor Kelly Kautz.

The contract, which was discussed in executive session, was approved unanimusly, 6-0.

To read other stories on the city manager position and search, click here.

2. Work Session Item: Firearms in city parks

Item: Mayor Kelly Kautz discussed creating regulation that bans firearms in city parks.

Summary: Following an incident in Sugar Hill, city council is considering regulations surrounding firearms in areas such as Briscoe Park.

In April, Cumming resident Christopher Proescher was arrested after gun-toting in a city park in Sugar Hill. According to numerous media reports, he was seen by one of Sugar Hill's private security guards, accused of illegally carrying a gun and then subsequently arrested by Gwinnett County Police.

The only problem: It is not illegal to carry guns openly in Georgia. (I could get one, with a permit of course, and walk around at the moment. No one could do anything.) It is an oft-confused law. Still, it's bothersome to Kautz, and she's hoping to do something about it.

"I'm all for people having the right to carry their weapons," she said, "but, we want to make sure that they're using them properly."

The item is expected back before council at its July 9 work session.

Meanwhile, Proescher  -- who was carrying a licensed weapon -- has filed a lawsuit against the Sugar Hill security guard and the Gwinnett County police.

3. Work Session Item and Council Reports: "Coffee with Council"

Item: Councilman Bobby Howard is promoting a special opportunity for citizens to talk to council members.

Summary: Beginning this Saturday, June 16, their will be a tent at the where council members in attendance can meet with citizens. The new public forum is expected to continue for the duration of the market.

Those who come to talk to council members will be given a medallion to then take to one of two coffee vendors at the market. Citizens will then return to the tent for conversations with council members.

Howard said the new "Coffee with Council" initiative is "just another venue for our citizenry to get to talk to us."

4. Announcements and Council Reports: Flag Day

Item: Councilman Mike Sabbagh is spearheading Flag Day, which will take place Thursday, June 14.

Summary: At 2 p.m., June 14, the city of Snellville will participate in its first Flag Day. The Flag Day ceremony will take place at the footsteps of the

5. Ceremonial Matters: "Aimee's Weekend"

Item: Mayor Kelly Kautz read into the record a special resolution about Aimee Copeland, and the upcoming weekend dedicated to her.

Summary: weekend is being dedicated to Aimee Copeland, and it is being called "Aimee's Weekend." In part, the resolution read "Whereas, Aimee Copeland is a graduate of and is a somebody from Snellville, and whereas, the Copeland family have been exemplary citizens of our city, and whereas, the faith and optimistic attitude of the Copeland family has been an inspiration to not only Snellville, but the entire country, and whereas,

David Brown June 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Gee, I guess Colonel Cooper would've called me a hoplophobe. I'm okay with that:):)
Grant June 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM
You're right Mr Muster... The law is perfectly clear. Halfwit City Mayors have exactly zero jurisdiction in regard to carry laws in Georgia As much as I'd enjoy refuting your attempts at logic I ( and Snellville) have betteer things to do than waste time on stupid
Larry Grant June 15, 2012 at 02:53 AM
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 "As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks." -- Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew.
Joe Muster June 15, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I am amused at the faux intellectualism that some writers are trying to bring to this debate by quoting Thomas Jefferson. Please be assured that Mr. Jefferson would be deeply offended that his name is being hijacked to promote ideals he never held. First, Jefferson had nothing to do with the writing of the Constitution, for Heaven's Sake, he was in France at the time! What makes him an expert on Constitutional interpretation? Second, it's nonsense to believe that Jefferson meant for the right to keep and bear arms to be Constitutionally binding in 2012. Since writers on this forum seem to believe that quoting Jefferson is dispositive, allow me to do the same. In a letter written in 1789 to his best friend, James Madison, Jefferson disposed of any arrogance among the Founders that their Constitution should be perpetual - "....on similar grounds it may be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. ..." Friends, if you truly wish to view yourselves as Jeffersonians, then you'll embrace the right of the "living generation" to decide whether they wish to be bound now by the 2nd amendment and it's quaint protections. Jefferson would certainly respect their desire to free themselves of it.
Dave Emanuel June 15, 2012 at 03:41 AM
And, Mr. Muster, I suppose right after the 2nd amendment is overturned, you would have us move on an repeal all the other amendments. How do you feel about the Constitution in general-- should we dispose of that as well? You might consider that a prime reason that you still have First Amendment rights is because of the 2nd Amendment. If you think having the right to defend yourself is a "quaint protection", perhaps you should move to another country where the citizens aren't inconvenienced by such "quaint protections".
Don Towers June 15, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Mr. Muster needs some remedial reading assistance. Who claimed that Jefferson had anything to do with the writing of the Constitution? No one here. But why would Mr. Muster want to rebut Jefferson's quotes that show his support for the the Right to Keep and Bear Arms? Mr. Muster would not care to rebut that, and so does not, but in effect says to us: "Look, a squirrel." Mr. Muster wants to talk about Jefferson and the Declaration, but he forgot that the matter at hand was the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When he is confronted with Jefferson's quotes supporting that very Bill of Rights, Mr. Muster has no response. Mr. Muster would also have us believe that he knows what Jefferson would say today about the Constitution. I just wish we all could speak to the dead, as Mr. Muster is apparently able to. But again, Mr. Muster has forgotten the original subject at hand, because he would rather not return to it. Maybe we can leave Mr. Muster to his musings and his indifference toward the 2d Amendment, and the rest of us can return to Realville.
Siege June 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Mr. Muster said: "Friends, if you truly wish to view yourselves as Jeffersonians, then you'll embrace the right of the "living generation" to decide whether they wish to be bound now by the 2nd amendment and it's quaint protections. Jefferson would certainly respect their desire to free themselves of it." You'd do well to do the same. Your right to not carry a gun has no bearing on MY right to do so. If you're so fearful of law abiding citizens who happen to carry the means with which to defend themselves and others from violent criminals who do not obey the law, then I suggest you go seek therapy: you clearly have problems projecting. Next thing you'll be advocating for a revocation of the 1st Amendment because my words make you afraid and you perceive some right not to be offended, and thus deem my right to speech inconvenient to a hijacked government because their tyranny suits your emotional fears and whims of the moment. Your freedoms only extend just so far that they do not interfere with mine, and I have an unalienable right to self-determination and to defend myself from those who would do me harm.
Siege June 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Oh, and Jefferson was only the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and drafter of the Va. Constitution, the DoI being the document Lincoln based his philosophy upon and argued for it to be the lens through with the Constitution should be interpreted. "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." Regardless of any ideals of changing governments, Jefferson very CLEARLY believed in an unalienable and immutable right of the people to defense of their persons, and the use of bearing arms to ensure as much, having gone so far to say, "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." Nice try.
Ed Stone June 15, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Joe Muster wrote, "Jefferson would certainly respect their desire to free themselves of it." Interesting Orwellian speak, there, Mr. Muster. The citizenry wish to "free themselves" from a fundamental civil right? Mr. Muster does not wish to impose government force and concrete cells on those who peaceably exercise the civil right, no, no, no, far from it! He is only "freeing them" from exercising the right! Maybe the police can remind them, when pointing their guns and putting on the handcuffs, that they are not being arrested! They are being freed! You would be an excellent propagandist, Mr. Muster.
Siege June 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Dave: Exactly. Without the 2nd Amendment to defend it, the 1st Amendment has neither teeth nor bearing. When our 2A rights to defense of ourselves and others from enemies both foreign and domestic--criminal and tyrant alike--are gone, our 1A rights will disappear soon thereafter.
Joe Muster June 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The rebuttals to Mr. Brown’s right to a sense of public safety tend to reveal irrational fears that remind the reader of the hyperventilation often expressed by the emotions of global warming alarmists. Open carry advocates may be living in fear of their own shadows, constantly looking over their shoulders, seeing danger lurking behind every azalea bush in Briscoe Park, but should their public expression of those fears deprive Americans like Mr. Brown of his right to a sense of public safety? So where does Mr. Brown’s rights figure in to this? Who cares, appears to be the response he gets.
Siege June 15, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Mr. Brown's rights to what, exactly? What right of his, enumerated in the Constitution or BoR, is infringed? Please, show me the section. Also, so you're telling us there is no crime? No murders, rapes, or muggings in parks? No crime in homes or on the streets? Are you telling me that the 2.5 MILLION crimes stopped each year by privately owned firearms is an exaggeration or outright lie? Are you telling me that the police actually STOP crime, or that you think they have some specific legal duty to protect you? Or maybe you're telling us that the clear and unambiguous statistics that show that the tighter the gun control laws, the higher the rate of violent crime, borne out in Russia, the U.K., California, NYC, New Jersey, Wash. D.C., and Illinois are just statistical anomalies? That the fact that every state that has instituted carry laws (concealed or otherwise) have seen a marked decrease in crime is somehow misleading? OH, I know... you're one of those people who think that criminals obey laws and won't kidnap children or rape and murder people in parks because a sign said so, right? That criminals are not opportunists who commit crimes in places they think they are least likely to be resisted? You and Mr. Brown are welcome to be sheep all you like. It is neither my fault, nor my problem, that you seem to be more afraid of the sheepdogs than the wolves. http://www.rense.com/general76/univ.htm
Grant June 15, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Muster writes "So where does Mr. Brown’s rights figure in to this? Who cares, appears to be the response he gets " Works for me . The rest of us arent bound by Mr Brown's irrational fear of legally possessed and carried weapons and are under no obligation to cater to his specific whims by giving up a basic civil right enumerated in the Constitution.
David Brown June 15, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Joe, I wasn't going to respond any further on this "discussion". It has reached a point where no one is really listening to one another. However, thanks for your rational comment in the middle of this highly-charged, nocompromise "discussion". Thanks for remembering that living in this great country of ours means balancing citizen's rights and opinions. Enjoy your Fathers Day.
Don Towers June 15, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I feel sorry for those citizens who feel the need to make up Constitutional rights, and who are indifferent or even hostile to actual Constitutional rights. I am sad to know that there are citizens who are afraid of inanimate objects such as firearms, and who go through life being fearful of them, and ignorant about them. I marvel at citizens who walk around in unreasoning fear of legally armed citizens, due to their own childlike fears of firearms. I wonder about the many citizens who feel no personal responsibility to provide for reasonable self defense and security for themselves and their families, instead placing an unreasoning trust in law enforcement to protect them at all times. I try not to blame these people, because they have been conditioned to these beliefs by today's society and education system. I do wish these people all the best, I respect their views, even while I disagree and I hope for their sakes that tragedy does not visit them, for their misguided ideas. I am one among many armed citizens who will do my best to protect myself and my loved ones, and perhaps even some of my fellow unarmed neighbors. And I do hope the folks who have unreasoning fears and odd ideas about the Constitution, will educate themselves and grow as fully mature citizens who can embrace all of their rights.
Siege June 15, 2012 at 06:14 PM
You do myself, yourself, and everyone else a disservice with your presumption that those among us willing and prepared to defend themselves and others are somehow fearful or jumping at shadows, and instead only serve to highlight your own projection, fear, and paranoia, when you insist I am somehow a threat to the rights of others. My firearm makes me no more of a threat than the fire-extinguisher in my car makes me an arsonist. *I* am merely prepared, down to the first aid kit and FE in my car, my training for survival and independence, my ability to read a map, navigate in a boat, start a fire without matches, and to find my own food. I live to protect the flock, and to confront the wolf. https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/600103_397333163651084_1135772448_n.jpg
Crystal Huskey June 15, 2012 at 06:16 PM
We have a new story up, with comments from GeorgiaCarry.org founding member Ed Stone and Rep. Brett Harrell. http://snellville.patch.com/articles/lawyers-and-officials-speak-out-about-gun-laws
SD June 16, 2012 at 02:27 AM
People with high pitched voices make my grandkids nervous. We should keep all the people from the Far East out of the park too, eh? And clowns, they scare a lot of young kids. No clowns in the park either. Could someone please keep a list of all the people we are going to ban from the park?
Byte Stryke June 16, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I love how the sheep are so well trained that Simply because I have changed jobs, now I somehow cannot be trusted with a firearm... never mind that I have trained and trained with Military and civilian teams. But put me in jeans and a T shirt and I am a MWAG needing to be swept up. Reality spoiler, the guy you need to worry about will not have it on his hip for the world to see, with a license issued by the state. It will be a stolen gun shoved into a pocket and when you do see it, the police will be of no help. I can only offer mercy in that you do not suffer to live and bury a family member... all because you thought the police would save you and your family.
SD June 16, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Mr. Brown, geese scare my grandkids. Should we run them off too, or do they have as much a right to be there as we do? Think about it.
SD June 16, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Mr. Brown's fear of legally armed citizens is unfounded. I suggest he educate himself on firearms and those who carry them.
Siege June 16, 2012 at 03:58 PM
These are the same people, after all, who insist (because the government employees tell them so) that the police are highly trained, reliable, and can be there in time to help you, never mind the fact that either one of us is guaranteed to have spent more time training with our weapons in the last 6 months than the average police officer will in the next two years and are more likely to actually be nearby to help. I am not responsible for the misguided fears and paranoias of others, and their fear is no excuse to curtail my rights, at all. I know a lot of people afraid of birds, so are we also going to ban parrots? How about dogs? I know a LOT of people afraid of dogs... BAN THE DOGS! My *RIGHT* to keep and bear arms, however--expressly guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of this state--infringes no other persons' state or federal Constitutionally guaranteed rights and does them no demonstrable, measurable harm. Your DESIRE to disarm me and potentially leave me defenseless from criminals, however, infringes my 2A rights and potentially my 1A rights (or my right to defend said 1A rights). There's always someone afraid of something or someone else. Me? I'm afraid of nothing, and prepared for almost anything. For all the people who ARE afraid, then I suggest you actually make use of your right to pursue happiness and seek counseling and therapy, or go get the education, tools and learn the skills you need to not be afraid.
David Brown June 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
SD said "Mr. Brown's fear of legally armed citizens is unfounded. I suggest he educate himself on firearms and those who carry them." SD, I have two words for you -- Trayvon Martin. Have you forgotten about him already? Certainly, Trayvon Martin had a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It shouldn't have mattered that he was wearing a hoodie and looked like a thug.
SD June 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Mr. Brown, you're correct, Martin had rights. He should have been more responsible with his rights that night and kept walking to the place he was staying instead of getting in a fight with someone who was prepared to meet deadly with the same.
David Brown June 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
SD, that last sentence in your comment shows how differently you and I viewed the events of February 27. George Zimmerman (who was armed) was the instigator. Trayvon Martin (who was unarmed) was not the instigator. Trayvon did keep walking. I could say much more, but I'm going to be laconic and stop here. Enjoy your Fathers Day:)
Don Towers June 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
David, I would be cautious if I were you, in using for your argument, a case that has yet to go to trial, and for which all the facts are not yet known. But from what we have heard publicly, it sure sounds like Martin was the aggressor, not Zimmerman. We still have to wait for the state of Florida to determine whether or not Zimmerman's actions were legally self defense or not. If Zimmerman is found innocent or guilty of the charges against him, does this have any effect on current GA state law? I don't think this one case will, either way.
David Brown June 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Don, I cannot let you get away with such an erroneous statement. Trayvon Martin was not the instigator. George Zimmerman was clearly the instigator. The 911 tape demonstrates that. The 911 dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he's pursuing Trayvon. Zimmerman said "Yes". The 911 dispatcher tells Zimmerman "We don't need you to do that". Zimmerman answered "Okay", and then proceeds to keep pursuing Trayvon. That is what we "have heard publicly". Enjoy your Fathers Day, Don.
Don Towers June 16, 2012 at 07:39 PM
David, we'll have to let the facts come out in the trial. Right now, all we have is part of the truth. But in any case I am not seeing how this case, however it is resolved, has anything to do with carrying firearms in Briscoe Park. We follow the law. I get you don't like GA law as it stands. I also understand you get scared when you see firearms. I suggest you stay at home and don't go out, just in case you encounter citizens who carry. Otherwise, we can't help you, buddy. Happy Father's Day.
Tommy Britt June 19, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Mr. Brown wrote: "George Zimmerman was clearly the instigator." What happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"?
Joy L. Woodson June 22, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Hello, your fearless editor here. I'm chiming in only to remind people that these forums are for healthy debate. Not attacks, not name-calling, etc. You can read the terms of use here: http://snellville.patch.com/terms. Bottom line: Everyone has an opinion. Let's keep it clean and respectful. Muchas gracias.

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