Flowery Branch Municipal Court will now have Kristin Lesutis as interim solicitor after Thursday’s City Council decision to remove Tom Csider from that position.
Mayor Mike Miller and the council returned to regular session after an executive session to discuss personnel and potential litigation, and the council unanimously voted for Csider’s removal.
After the meeting, City Manager Bill Andrew said there was a pattern of municipal court cases not moving forward after the solicitor seemed unaware, for example, that witnesses, including police officers, were in the courtroom and available to take the stand.
Andrew said while there no targets for municipal court revenues, budget projections for fines, and forfeitures revenues have been adjusted downward every year since he has served as city manager.
Lesutis is the staff attorney/volunteer supervisor for Hall-Dawson Court-Appointed Special Advocates.
Also in executive session, the council discussed its relationship with Pond & Co. The council expressed frustration with the civil engineering services with which the city has an interim extension.
Andrew suggested a meeting with Pond CEO Tony Parker to explain the city’s stance, which could provide Pond with an opportunity to ”reset” its dozen-year relationship with Flowery Branch. He said he would like to have community development director John McHenry and public works director Johnny Thomas accompany him for a meeting with Parker.
While Andrew said he was well pleased with Pond’s Bob Williams who is now working directly with the city, less experienced employees who previously were tasked to work with Flowery Branch proved disappointing.
Council members mentioned examples of past shortcomings including the collapsed Spring Street culvert, stormwater matters and streetscape. The most current concern relates to the roundabout project which is expected to finally be completed at least by early April. While weather has been a factor in delays, issues have resulted from design errors and initial errors in the survey.
“We still may be owed some money from Pond,” said Andrew, who is hopeful Williams will remain the Pond contact but hinted that “if they can’t afford to send us Bob,” he may be returning to the council with another recommendation.