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Ethics complaint filed against DDA member
Council to set ethics committee
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One Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority member is the subject of an ethics complaint that was delivered to the city manager at the end of April.

The letter accuses DDA member Seanie Zappendorf of misrepresenting herself as an employee of the city and as well as making statements that the complainant says "implied a warning."

The letter details an incident that the writer, Carita Parks of Rainbow Lake Drive in Dawsonville, wrote occurred between her and Zappendorf on April 15 and 18.

The incident reportedly was related to a controversial application by the owner of the Atlanta Motorsports Park to amend zoning stipulations for the property.

Parks wrote that on April 15 she was working in her yard when Zappendorf approached in her vehicle, and asked if she had any complaints about the noise from the motorsports park.

Parks lives a mile and a half from the motorsports park.

"I voiced my concern about the highly noticeable noises that frequently occurred because of the AMP," Parks wrote. "Mrs. Zappendorf gave me her ‘City of Dawsonville' business card and asked me to contact her if we had any further complaints about the noise. She did say that she works for the city, but didn't state working for the city."

Zappendorf is an appointed board member of the downtown authority. Zappendorf and her husband Ron own and operate Discovery Parts, a racing equipment store located inside the motorsports park.

Parks' letter also states that on April 18, she called Zappendorf to say that the noise was so loud it could be heard inside the house and was unbearable outside the house.

She claimed that Zappendorf called her back and stated that she had come to Parks' house, and hadn't heard anything.

Parks stated that Zappendorf then posted on a Facebook page about the phone call and how she was unable to hear any noise.

Parks also wrote that Zappendorf "heavily insinuated" that Parks, who said she is a registered nurse, would be one to vandalize the homes of those who support the motorsports park.

"Mrs. Zappendorf's statements were spoken in a way that implied a warning to me," Parks wrote.

Zappendorf did not dispute the timeline of events.

Zappendorf said that she did approach the Parks' home, but only because she was trying to pick up a friend of her son's, and was lost. The subject of the motorsports park came up in the conversation, Zappendorf said.

Zappendorf also said that she gave out her city business card because "she didn't have any of her personal cards on hand."

The business card that Zappendorf presented Parks was attached to Parks' letter.

The card reads "Seanie Zappendorf, Secretary/Treasurer, City of Dawsonville." Her cell phone and fax number are listed, as well as a P.O. Box.

The email "DawsonDDA@gmail.com" is the only indication that Zappendorf is on the DDA.
Zappendorf said the business cards were issued to her by the city.

Because of the nature of the letter, both City Manager Bob Bolz and City Attorney Dana Miles directed the city council last week to appoint an ethics committee to hear the complaint and resolve the issue.

Miles said that to him, the letter suggests that Zappendorf misrepresented herself as a city employee while lobbying for amendments to stipulations for the motorsports park, in which she has a financial interest.

The committee will consist of one member appointed by the council, one appointed by the mayor, and one selected by those two individuals who is then approved by the council.

One of those members must be a member of the State Bar of Georgia. All must be city of Dawsonville residents and will serve a term of two years.

Council action on appointing an ethics committee is expected to take place during the June 5 meeting.