Officials say the two occurrences are unrelated.
Bullying and intimidation could make their way onto the list of offenses handled by the city of Kennesaw’s ethics code when the board convenes to address the issues Tuesday evening.
James Walth, chairman of the Board of Ethics, said he called the meeting to clarify outdated language in the code.
“It has not been looked at since the ethics board was created by the mayor and council years ago,” Walth said.
“There’s a lot of language in there that the average layman can’t understand. We’re just freshening it up, making it easier to understand and more current to current situations.”
He said the ethics board normally meets twice a year.
Terri Copeland, who has served on the ethics board since its inception in 1995, said the proposed code updates include sections on social media and texting.
“We’ve made changes along the way, but nothing to catch up with technology,” Copeland said.
She said an ethics complaint in mid-2012 involving Mathews and his connections to an ambulance company prompted the board to begin reviewing the code.
“We realized, as we went through the code to check out the complaint, that the code was antiquated,” Copeland said.
She said the board set out to prune “legalese” from the document.
Eileen Alberstadt, a Kennesaw resident who attended the July 21 hearing on the closure of Lewis Street, said Mathews called her out at the meeting.
Mathews paraphrased a post on a social media site, which he said Alberstadt claimed he doesn’t care about ‘no voters’ and stated he had said ‘only 678 cars’ drive on Lewis each day.
“Unfortunately, it’s posted on social media by Ms. Alberstadt, that I would respectfully request that be changed and corrected,” Mathews said at the meeting.
Walth said he was surprised when he found out people thought the bullying and intimidation meeting was a result of the exchange between Mathews and Alberstadt.
“As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t even an incident,” Walth said. “I was surprised to find out certain individuals thought it was.”
Walth said the ethics board has been working on the language changes for “some time” and that he simply called the special session in order to “expedite the situation.”
He went on to say he sent out notices about the meeting through the city clerk before the council meeting, though he could not recall which day he did so.