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Posted: 4:16 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Snellville city clerk on the job

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Snellville City Clerk Phyllis Richardson
Snellville City Clerk Phyllis Richardson

By Sandra Parrish

Nearly a month after a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Snellville’s mayor against the city council, the newly appointed city clerk is finally on the job.

Phyllis Richardson was sworn in by Mayor Kelly Kautz January 10, but the appointment was not recognized by the city council.

Richardson would show up to work nearly every day at city hall but was turned away each time until the settlement in the lawsuit was reached.

“I would come, go upstairs and say I’m here to report for work and they would tell me based on the ordinance that they passed on that Monday after the tenth that there was no position for me,” says Richardson.

Under terms of the settlement reached June 20, the council must recognize the mayor’s appointment of Richardson.  It did so June 26.

But just this week the council voted to do away with term limits for clerk as well as city manager and city attorney meaning all three will now serve at the will of the mayor and council.

Because of the change, Richardson does not believe she will keep her position very long.

“I must say I would probably be shocked if I make it past a year,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

Richardson has also had to overcome other obstacles including a reduction in her promised salary as well as a change in her job description.

But, as the first black person to hold the position of Snellville city clerk or any executive position within the city, she was determined to see it through.

“I wanted to show other minorities that just because you face things that are not as welcoming as you would like them to be, doesn’t mean you should quit,” she says.

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