A special called meeting will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. regarding the removal (or lack thereof) of City Attorney Tony Powell, along with a number of other recurring issues.
It is open to the public and will take place in the council chambers.
Councilmembers Dave Emanuel, Bobby Howard, Diane Krause and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts called the meeting. The antagonism between those four and Mayor Kelly Kautz and councilman Mike Sabbagh is no secret - many votes are split between those two groups. The issue of the Mayor's power to hire and fire has been a bone of contention for over a year now, culminating in the most recent removal of Tony Powell from his post as City Attorney. It appears that a judge will be called in to determine her power as defined by the City Charter.
Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer White's job is also on the line.
"I am fervently hoping that addressing these issues now will end the constant disagreements in the future," said City Manager Butch Sanders.
Snellville Patch will live blog the meeting.
The following items will be discussed:
- First read of an ordinance clarifying the scope of the Mayor's authority to participate in administrative affairs pursuant to Section 3.10(e) of the City Charter.
- First reading of a series of Home Rule Ordinance.
- Adoption of a Resolution of Confidence in Tony Powell as the City Attorney and authorizing Powell to proceed with filing a lawsuit on behalf of the City and the City Council to affirm the express terms of the City Charter that restricts the power to terminate the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the City Manager to the specific grounds state in City Charter Section 5.16. This agenda item will also include a review of the invoices of the law firm of Webb, Tanner, Powell, Mertz and Wilson, LLP. This agenda item will also include consideration of an instruction to the City Manager not to pay any other lawyer of law firm for work allegedly performed on behalf of the City without official approval authorizing the hiring of additional legal counsel by the City Council and approval of the invoice by the City Council at a Regular Meeting.
- Consideration of a resolution authorizing the City Attorney, Tony Powell, to move forward with a declaratory judgment action for the interpretation of certain laws of the State of Georgia, the City Charter of the City of Snellville, and the City Code of the City of Snellville regarding the current and ongoing conflicts arising from the following specific subjects:
- The process of appointment and termination of the Prosecuting Attorney to the Municipal Court for the City of Snellville. This item will include consideration of a vote of confidence in the current holder of that position, Jennifer White, and challenging the right of the Mayor to terminate the Prosecuting Attorney without approval of the governing authority
- The right of the Mayor to terminate the City Attorney, the City Clerk, the City Manager, or any other appointed administrative official of the City
- Construction of the express power of the City Council to elect its Mayor Pro Tem pursuant to section 2.28 of the City Charter
- Interpretation of the right to appeal procedural rulings which the Mayor imposed on members of the City Council and the public, which rulings preclude the proper and necessary debate of issues important to the City Council. Such rulings have also resulted in the unconstitutional interference of the Mayor with public debates, and are in violation of the authority of Section 2-89 entitled "Incidental Motions" of the Code of the City of Snellville, Ga.
- The claim of the Mayor to the right to appoint the directors of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association, Inc.
- The interpretation of the authority of the City Council to amend the City Charter by the exercise of Home Rule ordinances pursuant to Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
- The interpretation of the Section 2.20 (b) of the City Charter which allows the Mayor to make appointments to committees of the City Council.