City Council Votes to End Investigation Against Mayor Bodker

The Johns Creek council also voted to amend the ethics code and authorize the mayor to discuss options for solving the Brumbelow Road intersection issue.

City Council members, Lenny Zaprowski, Brad Raffensperger, Cori Davenport, Mayor Mike Bodker, Ivan Figueroa and Kelly Stewart.
City Council members, Lenny Zaprowski, Brad Raffensperger, Cori Davenport, Mayor Mike Bodker, Ivan Figueroa and Kelly Stewart.
In the first meeting of the year the Johns Creek City Council - with the support of its two newest members - voted to end the six-month investigation into possible wrong doings by Mayor Bodker.

The final four resolutions on the agenda, which dealt with withdrawing and rescinding subpoenas, waiving attorney-client privilege, terminating pending investigation and ending the contract between the city and investigating attorney Robert Wilson, were passed 3-2, with Lenny Zaprowski, Cori Davenport and Kelly Stewart voting in favor of the measures.

In new business Kelly Stewart was selected in a 4-2 vote to be the next Mayor Pro-Tem.  Davenport, Zaprowski, Bodker and Stewart voted in favor of Stewart's selection.

Ivan Figueroa nominated Brad Raffensperger arguing that in the two years he has served on council he had never missed a meeting and pointed out that Stewart had missed 10 meetings. However, Raffensperger's nomination was voted down 4-2 with only Raffensperger and Figueroa voting in favor.

Next on the agenda was a discussion of the city purchasing a program to record and rebroadcast public meetings. The mayor, who had requested that the item be added to the agenda, said the purpose was to have staff look into the cost.

Next item was the discussion of a reciprocal non-residential park use agreement which the mayor had asked to add to the agenda. Figueroa asked why the mayor and not the staff would hold the discussions.  The mayor said the "goal is to get the policy makers (city council) involved in the process." It passed 6-0.

The next item, which the mayor said he added to the agenda, was to allow him to enter into discussions with the City of Roswell on transportation issues at Brumbelow Road. Figueroa said he would "prefer staff to speak to the Roswell staff" to work out the long-running issue between the two cities.

But Bodker argued that "there is a public safety need" and that dialogue at the council level would be more productive.

"This should already be up and functional," said Stewart. "Let the mayor get it jump started then turn it over to staff."

City Council approved the resolution 6-0.

The City Council also approved 6-0 the purchase of property, located behind Pike's Nursery, for the city's radio system. the cost $150,529.

The ordinance to amend the ethics code to allow citizens serving on other city boards the right to address City Council was approved 6-0.

The next four agenda items dealt with the investigation into the mayor. Bodker recused himself and Stewart took over as Mayor Pro Tem.

Raffensperger moved to table the four items arguing that there had been a supplemental report released over the last few days which the new council members had not had a chance to read.

"I think this should be tabled so they can read the report," said Raffensperger. Figueroa supported the idea saying that the new council members needed to have the full information before making a decision.

"New information has just been released. How can you vote on anything you haven't read about," said Figueroa.

Stewart argued that the investigation was "political from the get go" and added, "I don't want to spend one more red cent of tax payor's money."

Figueroa countered: "You are leaving a cloud over the mayor. If you stop this investigation the citizens will never know."

But all four motions passed 3-2 with Zaprowski, Davenport and Stewart voting in favor of terminating the investigation.

Bodker rejoined the council to discuss the remaining agenda items.

The council discussed the options to fill the Planning Commission and Zoning Board open seats and will look into defining the process at the next work session.

Raffensperger presented a resolution to reduce the millage rate by 1 mil arguing that the city had done a fine job in managing its money and was in a good position to start giving back something to its citizens.

Stewart said she would be interested in discussing his proposal further before making a decision and said she wanted to hear from Johns Creek citizens before making the decision.

The mayor also agreed saying that he thought the subdivision roads should be paved first. 

"I appreciate the spirit of the proposal and like the concept but I think that it's important to apply funds to paving subdivisions," said the mayor.

Bodker said that budget discussions were coming up and there would be more opportunity to explore the idea of reducing the millage rate.

Raffensperger's proposal failed 4-2 with Zaprowski, Davenport, Bodker and Stewart voting against.

The meeting began with the swearing in of council-elect members Zaprowski and Davenport following by Stewart and Bodker who were re-elected in the city elections held Nov. 5, 2013.

The city's attorney, Bill Riley provided updates on the massage parlor ordinance which the city is working to make the requirements more stringent. 

Riley also discussed the upcoming city election which is needed to fill the vacant Post 6 seat. Council will consider holding the election in May to eliminate the $150,000-$200,000 cost of holding its own election, and instead hold the Post 6 election in May during the primary elections which will reduce the cost to around $10,000.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m. the council adjourned to executive session to discuss one personnel and one litigation matter.

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Johns Creek Resident January 07, 2014 at 06:17 AM
Mike's puppets have been seated!
Public January 07, 2014 at 08:43 AM
So happy to see a new council. The people voted and made clear they did not support the investigation. The last council was deaf to community and continued with their personal agendas to the peril of their elected offices. We now have a new council that is off to an excellent start serving the will of the people. The waste of our money on that politically motivated investigation is gone. Nice work new council!
rbnadel January 07, 2014 at 09:16 AM
With regards to the 'puppets' snark, funny how 85% of the voters disagree with you. There is little room in local politics for the bsckstabbing and hooliganism evidenced by those responsible for the witch hunt. If those losers had to pay the bill from their own money, instead of the sticking it to the property owners, there would have never been any fake investigation created to run opposition to Bodker.
Louie Louie January 07, 2014 at 10:20 AM
The air last night was fresh - not stale, warm - not cold, enlightening - not discouraging. Ideas were presented, respect was evident and the positive vibes throughout the room were contagious; it was a night not to miss. Good luck and congratulations to the new council members for the new year and happy new year to all!
DP January 07, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Let's see, Stewart missed 10 meetings yet still collected a salary. Raffensberger wanted to reduce the millage rate to give something back to the residents of Johns Creek, Stewart said that they should wait and see and ask the residents. WHAT? Pure lunacy! Who WOULDN'T want the millage rate rolled back. We pay enough taxes.
Concerned4JC January 07, 2014 at 10:30 AM
It's a sad day in Johns Creek to see a politically motivated firing of a City Manager who has done an outstanding job of managing a distraught city on a daily basis. To use the words of rbnadel, "The witch hunt" continues and power abuse will also continue.
Louie Louie January 07, 2014 at 10:41 AM
With all due respect, if Raffensberger wanted to do good for the citizens of Johns creek, he would not have wasted taxpayer money by voting for an investigation witch hunt. Now he wants to get the public to see him different? And not calling the investigation political when he sent a mailer during the election? It will take more than "trying " to look like he is trying to make up to the citizens after this phony investigation than lowering the milage rate. Why don't the council members who voted for thus split up the bill for the investigation and pay it out of their own pockets? Would they have voted for this opposition research bill then?
AG January 07, 2014 at 11:02 AM
To see my city repave my subdivision would be outstanding!!
Public January 07, 2014 at 02:00 PM
Ha! Politically motivated firing of the City Manager? How ludicrous. First, he is black mailing the city to pay him off or drag them through the courts with a law suit he'll never win but will drain the citizens tax dollars in the process of fighting. He wants to be able to voluntarily resign with severance as a reward for his vile and unacceptable behavior. Tell me, why was he so politically motivated to attack citizens? He and his political pals ought to proceed with caution and let it be. Pay the man to walk off in the sunset. There are many competent professionals than can replace him. People are tired of focusing on the nastiness and want to spend their time and energy on positive things for the city. Also, it was nice of Brad Raffensperger to offer a millage rate rollback. It would have been nicer if he had bothered to research the feasibility and the numbers before doing so. We have a deficit of millions in terms of outstanding work in the city (for instance repaving), and possible declines inbound tax dollars. Rather than grandstanding for the media and future election outcomes, he should have acted responsibly and taken a full and detailed proposal to his fellow council members for consideration and collaboration and then raised it up in session. It was an empty offer orchestrated to make himself and his team look good and the others appear as if they don't want the citizens to get a break. More appalling politics. It worked so well for his cronies, I can see why he choses to keep it up. Apparently he isn't interested in re-election.
Bob January 07, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Imagine yourself at your job behaving like John Kachmer did. Now ask yourself how long they would give you to clean out your desk. Whether he poked that citizen in the chest or not is irrelevant. He cursed him out like a sailor and that, in and of itself, is beyond the pale for a public servant. I know without a doubt I would be unemployed if I behaved like that, and I am very disappointed he was not fired on the spot. It worked itself out in the end. Oh, here is a fun game to play...Google "John Kachmar slap" Where there is smoke, there is fire. Good Riddance!
Robert Searl January 07, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Have patience and monitor what happens with this board. We cannot alter the past nor can we predict the future.
se.schindler January 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM
From these comments, I've just learned that John K. is gone. Although I don't condone how he treated those citizens after that meeting and he did deserve more than the initial wrist slap, I will, nonetheless, remember the appreciation he always showed me and my wife at the many events we volunteered at over the years. Thanks for your service to JC and good luck to you.
se.schindler January 07, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Based on what I've read here, I'm excited about the city's new direction. Best wishes to the new city council and to our always hard working Mayor Bodker.
Duke January 07, 2014 at 05:52 PM
Lets do a background check on the next guy. A simple google search uncovered a treasure trove of negative history on Mr. Kachmar. Lets smarten up, Mayor and Council!


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