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Johns Creek Council disciplines Kachmar with written warning

Residents complain of 'slap on wrist'

Kachmar (click for larger version)
December 03, 2013
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Johns Creek City Council has finally taken action on City Manager John Kachmar's altercation with residents after an Oct.7 council meeting. Councilman Brad Raffensperger (who witnessed the incident) said Kachmar will be given a written reprimand.

This was a low-key reaction to what had been a fairly explosive issue in the recent city elections. Kachmar had approached Christie Johnson after the meeting and verbally assaulted her for what he termed "lying" during the public comment part of the meeting earlier.

Then he turned on Gerald Bush, her neighbor, when Bush intervened. He used profanity and abusive language to him. Bush said later he thought Kachmar was trying to provoke a fight.

"[Kachmar's] conduct was unprofessional and inappropriate and must not happen again," Raffensperger said. "Some people may wonder how we got here."

Raffensperger then asked a city attorney if the city was "at risk" to say more. The attorney advised any comments be made in executive session.

This did not satisfy Mayor Mike Bodker, who did not hesitate to speak out.

"I can't support this motion. This particular action was one of a series of incidents that show a pattern of behavior," Bodker said.

Although he could praise his talents as an administrator, Bodker said he can no longer support Kachmar in his position.

The censure passed 4-2 with Bodker and Kelly Stewart opposed.

After the meeting, Stewart said based on all the research she had done concerning Kachmar's career, his behavior has shown "a disturbing pattern of inappropriate conduct."

"It is such that I cannot support [Kachmar]. He should be terminated. Johns Creek deserves better," she said.

On hand for public comment again were Johnson, who was the victim of Kachmar's tirade, and her neighbor, Bush. They said Kachmar merely had his wrist slapped.

"It's a sad day for the city," said Bush. "You waited two months to do the right thing. And now you don't have the backbone to stand up to this man. What do I tell my daughter? I wouldn't talk that way to you."

Johnson said she was shocked at the response council had for what she called, "a vicious and unprovoked attack against someone making normal comments."

"I begged one of you [Raffensperger] to step in, and you didn't," Johnson said.

Resident Barbara Hartman also got up to speak, saying, "any gentleman who [used such language] should have more than a simple warning."

"I'm appalled. I did not hear any apology for this action [from Kachmar] or agree to get counseling," Harman said.

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Start planning to replace him
    December 03, 2013 | 07:42 PM

    What is clear is that Mr. Kachmar's contract should not be renewed or extended. Many others are capable of serving in the position of city manager. Mr. Kachmar should understand that his days as city manager are numbered, and the city should start the process for finding his replacement.

    An observer
    Johns Creek
  2. report print email
    Kachmar's days are numbered
    December 03, 2013 | 09:33 PM

    Once the new members of city council take their seats, Kachmar will be gone, and others with him! Mark my words!

    Mark in JC
  3. report print email
    December 03, 2013 | 10:13 PM

    Appalling. The city should be embarrassed for not properly reprimanding this manchild. He obviously has anger issues and manhood challenges. Typical syndrome of guys like him. He doesn't belong in a position representing the city.

    Jonathan G
  4. report print email
    Keeping up the BIAS
    December 05, 2013 | 02:05 PM

    Nice job of biased reporting Mr. Hatchet Hurd. Very convenient that you left out the part where Bush actually PROVOKED the incident and that Johnson actually DID LIE in her statements to the council. Just what is YOUR BEEF with the city administration that makes your "reporting" so BIASED?

    Try the whole truth...
    Johns Creek
  5. report print email
    City mgr
    December 05, 2013 | 05:51 PM

    Mr Kachmar never apologized, had used abusive language to citizens on more than one occasion and needs more than a letter in his file. Glad we have new council members coming in January.

    JC resident
    Johns Creek
  6. report print email
    The truth is..
    December 06, 2013 | 09:50 AM

    To Keeping up the Bias: It is clear you are emotional for Mr. Kachmar and the city council. I can understand that. It's been rough times for the whole city. That said, please be cautious and careful not to make harmful and defamatory statements. You are completely incorrect. Not only did I not lie, Mr. Kachmar repeatedly quoted me as having said something that never crossed my lips, period. Council meetings are recorded and what I did or did not say is not in dispute whatsoever. I also presented proof publicly at the next council meeting that what I did say was in fact true and accurate when I said it, and sadly is still true and accurate to this day. It is also not in dispute that Mr. Kachmar endeavored upon these terrible actions on his own and without a single ounce of provocation. No one even saw him coming. We became aware of his presence when he was barging through the middle of our group cursing, calling me a liar and aggressively pointing his finger at me. He continued his rant non-stop as he walked out into the parking lot to his car. He had cursed, aggressed and said plenty by the time Mr. Bush interjected and conveyed that he understood now where some of the staff, who also acted very unprofessionally and aggressively inside city council chambers minutes earlier, "got their a-hole-ish management style". In essence, he characterized a pattern of unprofessional management behavior, he didn't "call Mr. Kachmar" a curse word. Regardless, Mr. Bush didn't start it by a long shot and every witness there will tell you that. Mr. Bush is a good and decent man of great character. I am grateful to him for stepping in and sticking up for me and trying to end Kachmar's tirade on me. You have no idea what happened that night. Just because the city council and Mr. Kachmar cooked up that story line that the situation was in some way a fabrication by "supporters of the Mayor..." doesn't make it true. The fact is, it was a mixed group of people that didn't all know each other and had no idea of each other's political preferences. If you want to unearth lies and cover ups, you don't have to look far, but you'll have to stop looking our way to see them. You would not want to be in our shoes. None of this is fun. It's terrible. Not just for us either. The whole community is affected by this in one way or another. Whatever your frustrations though, please check the facts and the record before attacking people. Mr. Hurd is a journalist that IS using the record, his own eye witness accounts, statements provided by parties involved and more to write his stories. Objectively speaking, the diligence he did for his story was far greater than the diligence you did before posting very false statements on this comment thread. We need to hold ourselves to the same standards we ask or demand of others.

    Christine Johnson
    Johns Creek
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