July 23, 2020 – 4:00 p.m.


Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the City Council Work Session and City Manager’s Briefing was held at 4:02 p.m., via Zoom video communications. Mayor Johnson recognized Alderman Leggett who then offered the Invocation.


PRESENT:  Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, Presiding

Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, At-Large, Post 1, Chairman

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 Pat Monahan

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Workshop Agenda Items
1. 2020 Mid-Year Financial Update

Mayor Johnson recognized City Manger Monahan who introduced Chief Budget Officer Melissa Carter for the 2020 Mid-Year Financial Update.

Ms. Carter gave a detailed explanation  of the 2020 Adopted General Fund Budget, the Budgetary Structure, and the Projected Revenues and Expenditures via a slide presentation.

Ms. Carter detailed a $18 million revenue deficit and a $4.5 million decrease in expenditures.  She explained the City is experiencing an imbalance that needs to be addressed now and for the remaining fiscal period.  There is a net deficit of $13.2 million for the General Fund.

Ms. Carter presented a Tier rebalancing established by the City Manager.  This included a five Tier strategy.  The City is also asking all departments to reduce their operating spending plan by one to three percent.  She outlined other cuts the City will make to balance the budget. 

She presented Council with three different property tax projections:

  1. 12.856 mills     2020 Budgeted rate
  2. 12.739 mills     Rollback rate
  3. 13.420 mills     Budget achieving rate

Ms. Carter, Chief Financial Officer David Maxwell, and City Manager Monahan answered questions from Council and engaged in detailed discussions regarding the Tier strategy, property tax projections, City rental properties, and debt structure.

City Manager Monahan informed Council this was a mid-year update and no action was needed by Council at this time.

Mayor Johnson thanked all participants of the presentation, staff, and members of Council for input.


2. Strategic Plan Discussion
Exhibit 1: Vision Savannah Strategic Plan 2020 (Draft).pdf
Exhibit 2: Vision Savannah Strategic Plan 2020 Presentation.pdf
Exhibit 3: Vision Savannah Strategic Plan 2020 Council Champions List.pdf

Mayor Johnson introduced City Manager Pat Monahan.

Mr. Monahan introduced Ms. Taffanye Young, Chief of Community and Neighborhood Services.  City Manager Monahan gave a brief outline of Ms. Young's coordination of a draft plan from City Council's Orientation Session in December 2019 and the 2020 Visioning Session in January 2020.  He thanked Ms. Young and expressed his appreciation for her initiative and leadership in reaching the current status.

Ms. Young detailed the focus areas of the draft Strategic Plan by outlining the proposed Vision Savannah focus areas, via a slide presentation:

  1. Good Government
  2. Economic Strength & Proverty Reduction
  3. Pulic Safety
  4. Vibrant Neighborhoods
  5. Infrastructure & Development
  6. Health & Environment

Ms. Young requested Council to review the draft proposed strategic plan during the next two week period and let staff know by August 7, 2020, if there are any changes, additions or omissions.  Staff will compile the new information and post online a draft for public comments.  Staff would present the final draft to Council at the September 12, 2020 Council Meeting.

Mayor Johnson asked Ms. Young to move all the dates up by two weeks to give Council time to fully review the Plan and present the final draft to Council on September 24, 2020 for Plan adoption.

3. Proposed Unlawful Discrimination Ordinance
Exhibit 1: Ordinance - Unlawful Discrimination.docx

Mayor Johnson gave a brief description of the amended Discrimination Ordinance, and the Proud Savannah Taskforce.  He recognized Alderman Purtee for the presentation.

Alderman Purtee acknowledged other Georgia cities that enforced a Discrimination Ordinance.  He detailed the amendments included in the Ordinance.  A copy of the amended Ordinance was included for Council's review before the Regular Council Meeting.  

4. Real Estate, Personnel and Litigation

Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz made a motion to recess into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing real estate and litigation, Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

The Executive Session began at 5:32 p.m.

There was no action taken.

The Executive Session ended at 5:56 p.m.

Hearing no further business, Mayor Johnson adjourned the meeting at 5:56 p.m.


The audio recording of the Council Meeting can be found by copying and inserting the below link in your url:


Mark Massey, Clerk of Council

Date Minutes Approved: August 13, 2020

Initials:  mm

Agenda Plus