Athens — At the end of Monday's regularly scheduled city council meeting, Athens city officials expressed disappointment that the Athens Municipal Water Authority intends to file a lawsuit this week to stop the May 10 election that will decide its future, saying AMWA is attempting to take this important decision out of the hands of the electorate.
“I listened to AMWA board members commit publicly that they would accept whatever the public decides in the election,” Mayor Jerry Don Vaught said. “Now, we learn that AMWA board members are trying to block the election altogether and silence the voices of Athens citizens.”
The city received an email over the weekend referencing the filing on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 of “an emergency motion to stop the election.”
Athens residents are scheduled to decide on May 10 whether AMWA should continue operating or be dissolved.
Athens city attorney Conor Bateman said, “the good thing about this unique issue is that the people of Athens get to make the ultimate decision. Whatever the outcome, the election would allow citizens of Athens to make the decision and that's a good thing for Athens.”
News of AMWA's plans come less than a week after the board members made public statements indicating AMWA would dropped its $4 million claim against the city in the lawsuit filed in November 2013.
To date, the city has not received information on the $4 million claim being dropped.
“AMWA's board has made it clear that they are not shy about filing litigation if they think those lawsuits – however costly to taxpayers – will benefit AMWA's strategy,” Vaught said.
For more on the developing situation, see Wednesday's Athens Daily Review.