This Is Why Snellville Can’t Have Nice Things

January 6, 2014 7:30 am

by Jon Richards · 14 comments

The city of Snellville has a long history of dysfunction and pettiness within its city council. It appears they are at it again, as there is some question as to who exactly is the city manager.

Our story begins with the December 9th City Council meeting, where an item on the agenda was an extension of City Manager Butch Sanders’ employment contract, which was due to expire on December 31st. Mayor Kelly Kautz had proposed that Sanders’ contract be extended for a month to allow for a performance review. Just before the item was to be acted upon, the mayor attempted to remove it from the agenda, but was told she couldn’t by City Attorney Tony Powell. In the end, Council voted 5-1, with the mayor dissenting, to give Sanders a three year extension of his contract.

On Friday, Mayor Kautz told Sanders to stop working. She also sent a letter to Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens asking for an opinion on whether the extension of Sanders’ contract was legal. From her letter to Sanders:

It is my belief that since your contract expired on Dec. 31, 2013 a vacancy in the position of city manager has occurred. As Mayor, I have not nominated you to fill this vacancy due to the actions of Council at the last City Council Meeting; therefore, it is my belief that you no longer have the authority to act on behalf of the City as city manager. I would request that at this time you cease to do so.

For his part, Sanders believes he is still employed.

[B]ased 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.

Sanders is backed up in his belief by Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts.

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 five members of the City Council gave him a three-year extension on his contract. 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.

City Attorney Powell also weighed in. In an email to Kautz, he informed her that he told Sanders to stay on the job, and that he was sure Kautz had made “a terrible mistake.”

To sum up, Mayor Kautz believes Assistant City Manager (and Police Chief) Roy Whitehead is now in charge, while the rest of council, the city attorney and Sanders all think he remains employed under the new three year contract.

To my knowledge, there has never been any question over Sanders’ competence as city manager. Sanders is, however, a pawn in yet another Snellville power struggle.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) January 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

New post: This Is Why Snellville Can’t Have Nice Things http://t.co/tHTKhIVEMr #gapol

greencracker January 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

Snellville’s blunder was amending its slogan to “Everybody’s _proud to be_ somebody in Snellville.” If I were mayor or city council or city manager or anybody, I’d get that switched back, which would no doubt assuage the anger of the city motto gods.

Jon Lester January 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Maybe they should change it to “Where Everybody’s Special.”

Stefan January 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm

or just “At the intersection of 78 and 124!”

Truth is probably the best option.

Harry January 6, 2014 at 8:33 am
TAXGUY January 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Interesting that she states to be conservative on fiscal issues but wastes thousands of dollars each month making poor decisions. Increased legal bills, and more.

Rick Day January 6, 2014 at 8:33 pm

But that is what the state GOP leadership does! Lead by example.

How much did that attempt to overturn the ACA cost the taxpayer in legal costs? NOW your talking some serious waste.

Harry January 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Threadjack!

gcp January 6, 2014 at 9:34 am

Anyone with personal financial issues should not be in political office.

saltycracker January 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

The state legislature won’t even rule that unpaid taxes are a deal breaker. “If a plan is considered to pay them some day.”

Patrick T. Malone January 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm

She claims gender bias and agism are the reasons the Council doesn’t like her. How about arrogance and incompetence?

TAXGUY January 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

She thinks she is the Dictator of Snellville. Her way or no way. This is why we have five council members to balance decisions. However, as stated by Kelly nothing is final unless she says it is. If this is the case, we do not need a council or city manager since we already have a dictator. Sounds like we also do not need a city attorney since Mayor Kelly Kautz ignores the attorney’s opinion and does whatever she wants. Good thing the city received the equalization money for the service refunds from the county so that Kelly has more money to cover her wasteful spending.

Rick Day January 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm

So the five council members stand in opposition to anything The Mayor™ proposes?

Sounds like the House of Boehner.

Is she trying to implement some program called KrautzKare?

Charlie January 8, 2014 at 8:22 am

I always thought Snellville couldn’t have nice things because it was in Snellville.

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