Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In a letter to the editor, Howard highlights portions of the mayor's recent comments in which she said his claim that she wrote a check "under the cover of darkness" was blatantly false.
(Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor sent by council member Bobby Howard. The statements made are the opinion of the author, and they do not represent the views of Snellville Patch. For further reading: In a recent article, Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz claims that recent allegations of her misconduct are “blatantly false”. So let’s take a look at Kautz’s statements where she attempts to prove her point, and examine the facts. When you do so, you'll come to the inescapable conclusion that the only allegations that are blatantly false are the ones made by Kautz. (Anyone with an interest in the way their tax money is spent should verify the facts for themselves.) Kautz-statement from Snellville Patch “Kautz, however, said …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The mayor stated that she did not issue a check to a law firm "under the cover of darkness," as one council member recently claimed.
According to Mayor Kelly Kautz, allegations by members of the City Council that she "retained a law firm to represent [her] personally in a lawsuit and then in December without authority paid the law firm with city funds" are blatantly false. During the May 13 City Council meeting, council member Bobby Howard claimed that a check was written to Cruser and Mitchell well before they were appointed as city attorneys to represent Kautz in the case between the city and Marilyn Swinney. (Swinney claimed that her First Amendment rights were violated when the mayor would not let her speak during the public comment portion of a council meeting. The city ended up paying Swinney $15,000, which she donated, to settle the case.) "Under cover of …
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Council filled posts on the Planning Commission and Appeals Board.
Wednesday, April 10
The City Council approved Tod Warner for Post 4 of the Planning Commission and Tim Van Valkenburg for Post 4 of the Board of Appeals on Monday, but not without an argument. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that Mayor Kelly Kautz declined to support the appointments, citing the "pending litigation" between her and some other council members. Both men's appointments were approved by 4-2 votes, with Kautz and Councilman Mike Sabbagh voting against, the paper reports. You might also be interested in: Liveblog - March 25 Council Meeting Snellville PD K-9s to Receive Bulletproof Vests During Council Meeting Snellville Officials React to Judge's Decision Regarding Mayor's Powers
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Council members expressed relief and a continued faith in City Attorney Tony Powell.
After Judge Hamil issued the verdict regarding the mayor's ability to terminate City Attorney Tony Powell, four members of council -- and, of course, the city attorney -- were visibly relieved. Mayor Kelly Kautz sued council members Dave Emanuel, Bobby Howard, Tom Witts, Diane Krause, and, at the last minute, Mike Sabbagh, in an attempt to have the judge pass a declaratory judgment against their efforts to keep Powell in his position as city attorney. The judge, however, sided with the four council members and failed to issue the judgment Kautz was hoping for. Read the live blog of the hearing here. Judge Hamil stated that he expected to side with Kautz, the plaintiff, agreeing with her attorney that "inherent in the right to appoint is…
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
In a letter to the editor, councilman Bobby Howard discusses a number of issues, including a Facebook post by Mayor Kelly Kautz that Howard asserts is misleading.
(Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor sent by Snellville councilman Bobby Howard. This letter does not express the views of Snellville Patch. If you would like to respond to this opinion piece, send in your own letter to Crystal.Huskey@patch.com.) When I was elected as a member of the Snellville City Council, I made a commitment to represent all citizens, regardless of whether or not we agreed politically. Unfortunately, recent events related to our city have created a number of challenges to those of us on the City Council who are working to move our city forward. The events I speak of include a lawsuit that was settled out of court, resulting from the mayor’s violation of a citizen’s 1st Amendment rights. The cost to …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The meeting was called by four members of council to discuss the mayor's removal of City Attorney Tony Powell from office.
The following items were discussed, as can be seen in the videos. The items are from the official agenda. For further reading:
Friday, January 18, 2013
Submitted yesterday, the resignation is effective immediately.
The newly appointed Snellville city attorneys, Nola Jackson and Karen Woodward, resigned on Jan. 17, effective immediately. Jackson and Woodward, lawyers with the Cruser and Mitchell law firm, were appointed on Dec. 13 by Mayor Kelly Kautz, after she said that her relationship with the former attorney, Tony Powell, was "irretrievably broken." While Jackson and Woodward only said in an email that they felt it was "not in the best interest of Cruser and Mitchell to continue in this position," their decision does end, for now, the debate on whether they are the city's official legal representation or not. For further reading on Powell's dismissal: As it stands now, Powell is still acting as city attorney, despite the fact that Kautz …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Find out what's happening at City Hall from the comfort of your home.
A live blog detailing the special called meeting that took place on Jan. 9, 2013, is above. Key points: "There are six elected officials with very strongly held opinions on how the charter should be interpreted," said City Manager Butch Sanders after the meeting. "This meeting, as difficult as it was ... it had to take place. It was the only way those issues were going to be moved toward a resolution. I appreciated the way all of the attorneys tried to give their opinions and interpretations and I just hope that in the future, with clarification, that all this energy can be funneled toward doing good for the city."
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. Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts and councilmembers Dave Emanuel, Bobby Howard and Diane Krause called …
The City will avoid going to court over allegedly violating Marilyn Swinney's Constitutional rights.
The City of Snellville paid $15,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Snellville resident Marilyn Swinney involving Mayor Kelly Kautz's alleged violation of her civil rights in July of 2012. A little over $10,000 will be sent out this week to Swinney, while $4,500 will be sent to Georgia State University professor Kelly Timmons, a Constitutional law specialist, for her review and opinions regarding the viability of the claims, according to City Manager Butch Sanders. Timmons advised that the Mayor's actions violate the Constitution's first amendment rights. The City paid a $1,000 deductible, while the rest was paid for by their liability insurance policy covering official actions. Mayor Kautz did not return Snellville Patch's request for …