JANUARY 12, 2023, 12:00 noon - WORKSHOP and CITY MANAGER'S BRIEFING
OF THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN
The work session and City Manager’s briefing was held at 12:01 p.m. Mayor Johnson recognized Alderman Purtee to offer a prayer.
Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, Presiding
Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, At-Large, Post 1
Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely, At-Large, Post 2
Alderwoman Bernetta B. Lanier, District 1
Alderman Detric Leggett, District 2
Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3
Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4, Vice-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. 2023 City Council Organizational Items
Mayor Johnson indicated a memo would be sent to Council Members on topics for discussion during upcoming Workshops. Members were asked to respond within one week with preferences.
Mayor Johnson distributed a Salary Survey for Mayors and Council Members prepared by Clerk of Council Massey of local municipalities. Any changes approved by Council would be accomplished by a Resolution.
Based on the research, the following is the proposed Council compensation and term limits, effective January 1, 2024:
PROPOSED COUNCIL COMPENSATION
(Effective January 1, 2024)
Current: $25,000 (Annual)
Proposed: $30,000 + $5,000 (office/mileage expense)
Current: $57,000 (annual)
Term Limits: Maximum 3 consecutive terms in the same
seat. Current Council members, if re-elected, would have
2 additional terms, effective January 1, 2024.
Staggered Terms: None recommended at this time.
Alderman Purtee announced staggered terms were discussed in community meetings in the 6th District and residents were in agreement with the Mayor. It creates an environment of freshness and renewal for Council and for community engagement. He recommends moving forward with the proposed compensation and term limits.
Alderman Palumbo recommended Council move forward with the proposal.
Alderwoman Lanier stated none are germane to her or the constituents she serves. During the visioning session, ADUs, duplexes, community benefits, inclusionary zoning, traffic calming, drainage, and fair housing council were the issues of concern for District 1. Any compensation she receives goes back into the community.
Alderwoman Miller Blakely recommended no increase in compensation for Council due to higher taxes and increases in City services to residents. She did request an increase in a mileage stipend.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz stated the compensation does not matter as she was called to serve the residents of the 5th District. She will agree to the term limits approved by Council.
Mayor Johnson indicated the City Attorney will prepare the documents to move forward with the proposed Council compensation and term limits.
Alderwoman Gibson-Carter expressed her concern for Council's discussion on compensation and term limits. She feels there are more important issues to discuss, such as crime, homelessness, affordable house, etc.
In regards to travel, Mayor Johnson indicated Council receives $85/per day, which is more than City employees receive. The chart below outlines the options for Council travel reimbursements.
The $85/per day rate is more inclusive than City staff and it is recommended to maintain that rate for Council.
1. Maintain an $85-a-day rate.
2. Reduce the rate to the per diem rate afforded to City staff.
3. Receive per diem based on Federal regulations by location.
|2. Affordable Housing Partnership - Cuyler-Brownville Housing Initiative
|01122023 Council Workshop - Galvan Presentation.pptx
Mayor Johnson provided an overview of the affordable housing partnership with Galvan Foundation for the Cuyler-Brownville neighborhood. He recognized the contributions and efforts of Community Services Director Chief Young, CHSA Executive Director Anita Smith-Dixon, and Housing & Neighborhood Services Director Martin Fretty. He endorsed the project and asked Council for a unanimous approval.
City Manager Melder discussed Housing Savannah, Savannah Affordable Housing Fund, CHSA and how their combined efforts led to this opportunity. Along with Mr. Fretty, Chief Young, and Ms. Smith-Dixon, he introduced Housing Savannah Executive Director Laura Lane McKinnon and Housing Services Division Manager Tara Hicks as part of the team for the housing initiative in Cuyler-Brownville community.
City Manager Melder stated when the City contributed $9 million in the Savannah Housing Fund it was the beginning of increased affordable housing across the board. Because of the Savannah Affordable Housing Plan, a nationally known agency, Galvan Foundation, took notice and started negotiations with the City on a partnership for affordable housing. The Galvin Foundation expressed interest in the Westside neighborhood of Cuyler-Brownville and offered funds for housing initiatives.
City Manager Melder introduced Galvin Foundation Vice President Dan Kent who has offered to answer any questions.
City Manager Melder is requesting the support of Council for the following:
City Manager Melder introduced Housing & Neighborhood Services Director Martin Fretty for the PowerPoint presentation.
Following the presentation questions and comments from Council Members were heard:
The PowerPoint presentation is on file and available for viewing in the Clerk of Council's office.
Mayor Johnson adjourned the Workshop at 1:30 p.m.
A 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: January 26, 2023