The work session and City Manager’s briefing was held at 11:03 a.m., in the 2nd Floor Media Room of City Hall. Mayor Johnson called the meeting to order and recognized Alderman Purtee to offer a prayer.



Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, Presiding

Alderwoman Carolyn H. Bell, At-Large, Post 1

Alderman Detric Leggett, District  2

Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely, At-Large, Post 2

Alderwoman Bernetta B. Lanier, District 1

Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3 - Vice Chair

Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4 - Chairman

Alderwoman Dr. Estella Edwards Shabazz, District 5 - Mayor Pro Tem

Alderman Kurtis Purtee, District 6


City Manager Joseph A. Melder

Chief of Staff Daphanie Williams

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Deputy Clerk of Council Margaret Fox

Workshop Agenda Items
1. Tourism Ordinance/Tourism Service Vehicles
Exhibit 1: Tourism Update Presentation.pdf

PRESENTED by City Manager Melder and Special Events, Film & Tourism Senior Director Susan Broker.

Following the presentation, there were discussions and/or questions from City Council Members concerning the listed items below:

  • Vehicles that amplify noise or have glass pipes.
  • How to improve the quality of life for downtown residents as it relates to the trolley cars.
  • Trolley car routes, how does it effect tour guides sharing history of the City.
  • Parking of tourism vehicles in the downtown area.
  • Possibility of updating the noise ordinance.
  • Timeline of making any changes as directed in the ordinance.
  • State law as it relates to the protection of industries that create noise.
  • City Manager Melder will provide a report to Council Members on the trolley tour sound ordinance within the next two-four weeks. 


  • Horse drawn carriages
    • Horse drawn carriages as it relates to traffic safety.
    • Placing restrictions on the carriage operations.
    • Banning/transitioning from the horse drawn carriages.
      • impact on tourism
      • business owners/employees impact
      • providing a sunset for transition
    • When other cities banned, what was the outcome.
    • City Manager Melder will prepare a report for Council Members showing case studies from other cities.  Timeline for the report is sixty days.

City Manager Melder thanked Susan Broker and Eddie Grant of Special Events, Film & Tourism; the Downtown Neighborhood Association; Team Savannah; and all the partners in the industry (TLC, Savannah Chamber of Commerce, Visit Savannah; and the business operators).

Mayor Johnson thanked everyone, stating it takes a team effort.

2. Closed Executive Session: Litigation, Personnel, and Real Estate

At 12:23 p.m., Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Shabazz moved to hold a closed executive session regarding real estate, seconded by Ald. Lanier, Ald. Miller Blakely, and Ald. Wilder-Bryan. The motion passed unanimously, 9-0-0.

At 1:30 p.m., Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Shabazz moved to adjourn the closed executive session, seconded by Ald. Wilder-Bryan. The motion passed unanimously, 9-0-0. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN DURING THE EXECUTIVE SESSION.

3. City Manager's Agenda Review

No City Manager Agenda Review.

There was no action taken during the Workshop and Executive Session.

Mayor Johnson adjourned the pre-meetings at 1:30 p.m.


The video recording of the Workshop can be found by copying and inserting the link below in your url:



Mark Massey, Clerk of Council


Date Minutes Approved:     April 25, 2024 


Signature:   MM 

Agenda Plus