Snellville, GA - Snellville’s power struggle between its mayor and city council is expected to be decided as a lawsuit heads to Gwinnett Superior Court today.
Mayor Kelly Kautz filed suit in January against the entire city council over her ability to hire and fire the city clerk and city manager. She filed another lawsuit last year over her authority to remove the city attorney.
“I am going forward with this not for myself but for the office of mayor,” she says. “Whether you agree with who’s in position or not, you have to respect the authority of mayor.”
Kautz tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish secret meetings have been held without her and she’s been locked out of certain parts of city hall. She also complains a stamp with her signature is being used on city documents.
“We have some rogue council members that think the constitution of our city is not important to follow and hopefully the judge will see things differently this week,” she says.
But council members say they are doing what’s in the best interest of the city.
“You have to have conversation, but without conversation it seems that some people prefer litigation,” says Councilman Dave Emanuel referring to Kautz.
Besides being a frustration for both staff and the citizens of Snellville, he says the suit is costly as well. Some $100,000 has been set aside in the city’s budget just for the litigation. Kautz has hired her own attorneys.