June 21, 2018, City Council Regular Meeting




PRESENT: Mayor Eddie W. DeLoach, Presiding

Aldermen Carol Bell, Julian Miller, Brian Foster, Bill Durrence, Van Johnson, II, Tony Thomas, John Hall and Estella E. Shabazz

Rob Hernandez, City Manager 

Bret Bell, Assistant to the City Manager 

Brooks Stillwell, City Attorney

William Shearouse, Assistant City Attorney

The regular meeting of Council was held this date at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited in unison followed by the Invocation by Dr. John Tillman, Life Church in Ardsley Park, formally Ardsley Park Baptist Church.

Upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, unanimous approval was given for the Mayor to sign an affidavit and resolution on Litigation and Real Estate for an Executive Session held today where no votes were taken.


BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah as follows:

At the meeting held on the 21st day of June, 2018 the Council entered into a closed session for the purpose of discussing Litigation and Real Estate. At the close of the discussions upon this subject, the Council reentered into open session and herewith takes the following action in open session:

  1. The actions of Council and the discussions of the same regarding the matter set forth for the closed session purposes are hereby ratified;
  2. Each member of this body does hereby confirms that to the best of his or her knowledge, the subject matter of the closed session was devoted to matters within the specific relevant exception(s) as set forth above;
  3. The presiding officer is hereby authorized and directed to execute an affidavit, with full support of the Council in order to comply with O.C.G.A. §50-14-4(b); 17
  4. The affidavit shall be included and filed with the official minutes of the meeting and shall be in a form as required by the statute.

ADOPTED AND APPROVED: JUNE 21, 2018 upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried.

Alderman Johnson introduced Riche' Williams, Chair-elect for the Chatham County Youth Commission and candidates for the Chatham County Youth Commission. He stated they are embarking on their summer candidacy tour, visiting local governments and attending meetings. 

1. Motion to Approve the Summary/Final Minutes for the City Council Work Session and City Manager's Briefing of June 7, 2018
06.07.18 WS minutes.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried.

2. Motion to Approve the Summary/Final Minutes for the City Council Meeting of June 7, 2018
06.07.18 Minutes.pdf

Approved upon morion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried.

3. Motion to Approve Transfer of Alcohol License to LaFonda Dixon of The Fresh Market
Measurement Report - TheFresh Market20180614_11130368.pdf
Alcohol Documents - TheFresh Market20180614_11121462.pdf
Code Compliance Report - The Fresh Market20180615_11513088.pdf
Density Map - The Fresh Market20180615_11502937.pdf

A public hearing was held. No persons came forward to speak either for or against the item.

Hearing closed upon motion of Alderman Thomas, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Miller, seconded by Alderman Foster, and unanimously carried.

4. Motion to Approve Alcohol License for John O. Morisano of The Grey Market (restaurant)
Measurement Report - The Grey Market20180614_11074297.pdf
Alcohol Documents - The Grey Market20180614_11070169.pdf
Density Map - The Grey Market20180615_11500916.pdf

A public hearing was held. No persons came forward to speak either for or against the item.

Hearing closed upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Hall, and unanimously carried.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Durrence, and unanimously carried.

5. Motion to Approve Alcohol Package License for John O. Morisano of The Grey Market (market)
Alcohol Documents - The Grey Market20180614_11102863.pdf
Measurement Report - The Grey Market20180614_11095053.pdf
Density Map - The Grey Market20180615_11494993.pdf

A public hearing was held. No persons came forward to speak either for or against the item.

Hearing closed upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Hall, and unanimously carried.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Durrence, and unanimously carried.

6. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding Materials on Buildings 5 Stories or Greater in the Savannah Historic District (Petitioner: Phillip McCorkle, for 7 Drayton Hotel, LLC
Planning Commission Recommendation Historic District Ordinance Sec 8-3030(l)(1) Text Amendment.pdf
Historic District Ordinance Sec 8-3030(l)(1) Draft Ordinance _18-000956-ZA.pdf

Continued to the meeting of August 2, 2018 upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Foster, and unanimously carried.

Alderman Durrence: They are very close to having a solution which will negate having to worry about this, but until that's finished we need to just continue.

7. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding the Mid-City Design Review Process (Petitioner: Planning Commission)
Planning Commission Recommendation Mid-City Ordinance Design Review Procedures Text Amendment 18-001150-ZA.pdf
Article K Mid City-6-4-18 marked up.pdf
Article K Mid City-6-4-18 Draft revisions with changes highlighted.pdf
Draft Ordinance Mid-City Ordinance Revisions 18-001150-ZA.pdf

Hearing closed upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Thomas, and unanimously carried.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Foster, and unanimously carried.

8. Motion to Declare Rights-of-Way Adjacent to 61 Graham Avenue as Surplus and Available for Sale
Map of 61 Graham Avenue.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Thomas, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

9. Motion to Declare Unopened Pickett Street as Surplus and Available for Sale
Map of Pickett Street.pdf
Survey of Pickett Street.pdf
Petition Application for Pickett Street.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Hall, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

10. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding the Savannah Historic District (Petitioner: Planning Commission)
06-13-18 DRAFT HDBR Ordinance Marked-Up.pdf
06-13-18 DRAFT HDBR Ordinance Marked-Up with changes highlighted.pdf
DRAFT HDBR Ordinance Revisions.pdf

Ellen Harris, Metropolitan Planning Commission: In summary, Mr. Mayor and Aldermen, it's clarifying certain provisions within the Historic District ordinance. It's strengthening the provisions and expanding the provisions for large scale development.

[Alderman Miller asked for a little more detail]

Ellen Harris: I think the most substantive change within the ordinance is the criteria for which a large scale development can earn a bonus story. In the proposed changes at which is consistent with the current ordinance you can earn a bonus story on large scale development if you provide affordable housing, or if you restore a closed street or lane that's historic. And currently in the ordinance we have a provision that allows a bonus story with the incorporation of retail and active uses on the ground floor as well as the incorporation of sustainable technologies. So what we've done is we've amended those last two criteria to expand the definition of an active use and to provide more specificity there to expand that to also require better quality materials. And then with the sustainability criteria we've amended that to require LEED gold certification as well as higher quality materials in order to earn that bonus story.

Alderman Miller: To expound upon that, what we're doing is we're adding criteria that would allow you to have the bonus story. The LEED certification is not the only thing we're doing it’s one of four things that you can do and it's in addition to what you could have earned a floor with before we passed this.

Ellen Harris: Yes sir, that’s correct.

Alderman Durrence: It's LEED certification or equivalent, isn't it?

Ellen Harris: Yes sir, or equivalent.

Attorney Harold Yellin: Mr. Mayor and members of Council before you vote, very quickly. I'm here representing Geyer/Morris who has the property under contract which is the police station property. We're going to be in front of you in two weeks. We simply want to at least lay the predicate and let y'all know we support what's before you today and in fact I went to several meetings that Ms. Harris hosted and she did an outstanding job getting a lot of different groups together to get what's before you today. But there are still things in the ordinance which are not consistent with what Geyer/Morris is trying to do on your property. So, I simply wanted y'all to be aware we're going to have to come back to this. Sometimes when y'all pass an ordinance there's the thinking of well we passed something we never want to look at it again. I just want y’all to know we will be back in two weeks. We probably will need to talk about things like lot coverage, lanes, building size which are limited to 13,500 square feet, whereas this lot is much bigger than that. So, I just want y’all to be aware we support this but we're going to be back in two weeks and we would like to address more specific items as they relate to Geyer/Morris.

Alderman Thomas: This may not be a question for you Harold. But it's come to my attention that somebody from the City has been saying that once we pass certain ordinances here, and this might be a question for you Mr. City Manager, that City staff is pushing for a one year moratorium on building permits, is that…

City Manager Hernandez: I don't know where that would be coming from Alderman Thomas, it’s not coming from City staff to my knowledge.

Alderman Thomas: It is to my understanding.

Attorney Yellin: Mr. Thomas I have heard that if NewZO passes, I've heard on the street that there may be a one year moratorium against any further amendments to the ordinance. That's the one year that I heard that, but not this.

City Attorney Stillwell: That's the discussion that has been floated by some staff members and proponents of some of the elements of NewZo. I have recommended strongly against that. I don't think that you can assume that everything we might put in NewZO will be perfect the first time it passes and it's very likely as it always happens with new bills or legislation you pass or any legislative body passes, there is likely to be glitches in it or that something was overlooked, or was misstated, or there was a typo and I don't think you can ask a property owner to be prohibited from coming in and asking for a change or you can't prohibit the Council from saying gee we made a mistake or we overlooked something. So, I would strongly disagree with that. I don't believe that will happen, that's just a proposal somebody made.

Alderman Thomas: I'm glad to hear that and I'm glad to hear that in the public record, because one this Council has never been briefed of that policy of a one year moratorium, two the word moratorium itself is a negative. So, I think that we need to be very careful if any member of the staff has been out there using that word. We need to be careful that it's not being used in the context of policy by this Board. I think that's dangerous and I think NewZo is an entirely different discussion, so I think we need to urge caution as we move forward with using that type of language in front of community groups or especially developers or anyone else. I'll get with you Mr. City Manager to talk with you more in depth about that. Thank you Mr. Yellin.

Alderman Johnson: Mr. Yellin I think my question is somewhat related. It's interesting that you might have some possible additions or suggested modifications to what we're being asked to approve today. Would it be advisable we just wait until that time and incorporate that in to one document instead of incorporating it and then fixing what we just incorporate?

Attorney Yellin: I don't think there's any reason to wait. What you have in front of you is the product of what's been going on for several months, six months. I don't want to be the party that holds that up. I simply wanted Council to be aware that what was done here involves a lot of housekeeping, a lot of cleanup, a lot of making things that were not quite so predictable, predictable, but that there's going to be another wave of suggestions as they concern other properties and I just didn't want to get hung up…

Alderman Johnson: But couldn’t those waves also be addressed as well since we have a document that obviously we can live with? But you know, I mean I guess it’s just really a matter of, Mr. City Manager do you have an opinion on that one way or the other?

City Manager Hernandez: We have some issues that need to be worked out.

Attorney Yellin: Exactly, I would say approve this and just know that we're going to come back.

Alderman Thomas: Can I make a suggestion?

Attorney Stillwell: Look at it this way, yeah it would be great if every time we did an amendment we could handle a, b, c, d, e and f. But sometimes it's good to go ahead and get a, b, and c behind us and deal with d, e and f next week.

Alderman Johnson: Yeah but then d, e, and f changes.

Attorney Stillwell: Well that's true, but I don't think anything is set in stone when you pass it.

Alderman Thomas: Here’s what I’m going to recommend to the Mayor. Why don't we take this Mr. Mayor on a first read, allow them to work that up and bring it back in two weeks for a second read so that we know exactly what we're voting on here.

Attorney Yellin: We may need more time. And honestly my being here was in no way intended to hold this up. My intention was only to tell you that there are going to be things out there because your property is a pretty unique piece of property. You don't find many properties like that, that are that size, in that location, and that zoning districts. So, there are a bunch of things that are going to have to happen. So, I would say and I appreciate your willingness to wait, but I think this is a case where I think y'all should go ahead and approve this, but just know that when I come back up in two weeks, I'm going to say this is what I was talking about.

Alderman Thomas: Well, I would, but you know Mr. Yellin, you are one gifted lawyer. So, I would rather do it on a first read so that we know exactly what we're voting on when it comes back in two weeks so that everything can be worked out then.

Mayor DeLoach: I'm going to call the vote the way it is and move forward. If you want to vote for it then do it and if you don't, don't vote for it. Let's get this one out of the way.

Alderman Thomas: Mr. Mayor it has to be unanimous.

Attorney Stillwell: That's correct. So, if any member of Council… it has to be just on first reading.

Alderman Thomas: Can you have it done in 30 days?

Attorney Yellin: We'll do our very best.

Alderman Thomas: I’ll support first reading.

No Action.

Alderman Thomas objected to the item being on First and Second Reading.

11. Motion to Amend Article T, Section 2 of the 2018 Revenue Ordinance to Eliminate the Cap on the Equine Sanitation Fee

[Alderman Johnson requested clarification on the cap fee]

City Manager Hernandez: Alderman Johnson, so this item right now before you eliminates the cap that we charge the horse drawn carriage companies for providing that service on City streets. We put that contract out for bid, the contracts came back, the cost came back significantly higher, well I don’t want to say significantly, but it is higher than what they pay today. In order for us to recoup the full cost of providing that service we need to remove the cap that's in the revenue ordinance.

Alderman Johnson: That we imposed?

City Manager Hernandez: Yes that we impose.

Ordinance read for the first time in Council June 21, 2018, then by unanimous consent of Council read a second time, placed upon its passage, adopted and approved upon a motion by Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Thomas, and unanimously carried.

Revenue Ordinance Amendment

Equine Sanitation

Article T

Section 2

(E) Other Fees and Permits

(3) Horse drawn carriage tour business

            Equine sanitation fee per month         $1,350.00

Horse-drawn carriage tour companies registered with the City of Savannah shall remit a monthly payment for the cost associated with the City of Savannah equine sanitation contract. The total monthly cost for equine sanitation shall be divided equally among the registered companies. Payment shall be remitted to the City of Savannah no later than the 1st day of the month following the month in which tours were given.

ADOPTED and APPROVED: June 21, 2018

12. Motion to Rezone 120 E Duffy Street from 1-B to 3-R (Petitioner: Robert L. McCorkle for KPL Real Estate Services, LLC)
120 E Duffy St Rezoning 18-002327-ZA Draft Ordinance.pdf

Ordinance read for the first time in Council June 21, 2018, then by unanimous consent of Council read a second time, placed upon its passage, adopted and approved upon a motion by Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried.


To Be Entitled


BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah, Georgia, in a regular meeting of Council assembled and pursuant to lawful authority thereof:

SECTION 1:  The following described property be rezoned from its present 1-B zoning classification to a 3-R zoning classification:

Commencing from a point [X: 988050.228914 & Y: 752150.102958] located at the approximate intersection of the centerlines of East Duffy Street & Abercorn Street,

Thence proceeding in a NW direction along the approximate centerline of East Duffy Street for an estimated distance of 61.0 ft. to a point, said point being, THE POINT OF BEGINNING

Thence continuing in a NW direction along the approximate centerline of East Duffy Street for an estimated distance of 35.0 ft. to a point,

Thence proceeding in a NE direction [N 17-12-34 E] along a line for an estimated distance of 146.8 ft. to a point, said point being located along the approximate centerline of East Park Lane,

Thence proceeding in a SE direction along the approximate centerline of East Park Lane for approximately 35.0 ft. to a point,

Thence proceeding in a SW direction [S 17-12-34 W] along a line for approximately 145.1 ft. to a point, said point being, THE POINT OF BEGINNING

PIN: 2-0044 -33-004

SECTION 2:  That the requirements of Section 8-3341 of said Code and the law in such cases made and provided has been satisfied.  An opportunity for a public hearing was afforded anyone having an interest or property right which may have been affected by this zoning amendment, said notice being published in the Savannah Morning News, on the 23rd day of May, 2018, a copy of said notice being attached hereto and made a part hereof.

SECTION 3: All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  This ordinance shall be effective as of the date hereof.


13. Motion to Approve Annexation of 10.466 Acres on Ogeechee Road near Chatham Parkway (Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC, Petitioner)
Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC annexation petition and maps.pdf
Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC annexation Ordinance.pdf

Ordinance read for the first time in Council June 21, 2018, then by unanimous consent of Council read a second time, placed upon its passage, adopted and approved upon a motion by Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried.

Alderman Durrence: Mr. City Manager, no objection to this particular petition, but in terms of annexations and annexation issues that come to us in the future, I would like to see some kind of analysis of the cost to the City for providing services to those properties versus what anticipated revenues would be available. That we could see some kind of analysis that in future for any annexation projects.

Alderman Hall: Mr. City Manager, before you answer, didn’t we annex some property on that end?

City Manager Hernandez: I would say that over the last year, year and a half, we've probably annexed three parcels in that general area.

Alderman Johnson: Generally that’s the reason for the City services.

Attorney Stillwell: Yes, nine times out of ten when we have these petitions, it's so that the owner of the property can obtain water and sewer services and they are required to pay the cost of the water and sewer hookups and all the fees. So, it's in fact enhancing our revenue generally.

Alderman Durrence: Some of the annexations that's been done in the past year has not enhanced our revenue cost, it's costing us more money than we're generating.

City Manager Hernandez: I understand what the Alderman is requesting and I have no issue with providing that.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Mr. City Manager, can you tell me which aldermanic district that is? I know Alderman first district and fifth district we share that area.

City Manager Hernandez: I'm going to guess its District One.

Alderman Miller: So, what is the difference between 13 and 14?

City Manager Hernandez: Well, 13 is annexing the property into the City and 14 is rezoning it.


WHEREAS, Andrews Commercial Real Estate, LLC the owner of certain tracts of land contiguous to the corporate limits of the City has submitted a petition requesting annexation to the City; and

WHEREAS, the provisions of Chapter 36 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A. 36-36-20 et seq.) have been complied with;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah, Georgia, in regular meeting of Council assembled and pursuant to lawful authority thereof:

SECTION 1: The following tracts being contiguous to the City of Savannah and described as:

Property Description.

PARCEL A (PINs 10836 02021 and 10836 02023): All those certain lots, tracts or parcels of land situate, and being in Chatham County, Georgia, known and designated as Parcel 3 “A”, containing 5.94 acres, and Parcel 2 “C”, containing 2.74 acres, as more particularly shown on a plat entitled “Recombination of Parcel 1A, 2B and 3, Jefre’s Subdivision, 7th G.M. District, Chatham County, Georgia” prepared by Vincent Helmly, Georgia Registered Land Surveyor No. 1882, dated June 5, 2002, and recorded in the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia, in Subdivision Map Book 26-S, Page 35, which plat by reference is incorporated into and made a part of this description.

PARCEL B (PIN 10836 02006): All those certain lots, tracts or parcels of land situate, lying and being in Chatham County, Georgia, on the South side of Ogeechee Road (US Highway 17) being known as Lots 1 & D, Heathcote Farms, Chatham County, Georgia, containing 0.50 acre, as more particularly shown on those certain plats prepared by Vincent Helmly, Georgia Registered Land Surveyor No. 1882, and recorded in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia, in Subdivision Map Book 18-S, Page 96, and in Subdivision Map Book 26-S, Page 35, which plats by reference are incorporated into and made a part of this description. Said lots lie contiguous and have a combined frontage on the southern right-of-way of U.S. Highway 17 of 200 feet and are bounded on the North by U.S. Highway 17, on the West and South by Parcel 2 “C” (formerly Parcel 2 “B”) of a recombination of Lots in Jefre’s Subdivision, and on the East by Parcel 3 “A” (formerly Parcel 3), Jefre’s Subdivision.

PARCEL C (PIN 10836 02024): All that certain lot, tract or parcel of land known as Lot 2 of a composite subdivision map of a portion of the Jesse M. Cosby Tract, Chatham County, Georgia, consisting of 1.32 acres, as more particularly shown on plats recorded in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia, in Subdivision Map Book 12-S, Page 12, and in Subdivision Map Book, 26- S, Page 35, to which plats specific reference is hereby made for a more complete description of said lot.

The above described Parcels A, B, and C are a portion of the property conveyed to Michael Hernandez by Tracy Young and H. Alan Dasher pursuant to a Warranty Deed dated October 18, 2000, filed for record and recorded on the same date in the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Chatham County, Georgia, in Deed Record Book 216-A, Folio 409;

are hereby annexed into the City of Savannah and made a part of said City.

SECTION 2. The Clerk of Council is hereby authorized and directed to file a report on this annexation with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and with Chatham County as provided by O.C.G.A. 36-36-3.


14. Motion to Amend Zoning Ordinance to Provide a Zoning Designation for 10.466 Acres on Ogeechee Road to be Annexed into the City of Savannah (Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC, Petitioner)
Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC annexation petition and maps.pdf
Andrews Commercial Real Estate LLC Zoning Ordinance.pdf

Ordinance read for the first time in Council June 21, 2018, then by unanimous consent of Council read a second time, placed upon its passage, adopted and approved upon a motion by Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderman Thomas, and unanimously carried.


WHEREAS, by ordinance adopted and approved June 21, 2018, the properties identified as PIN 1-0836 -02-021, PIN 1-0836 -02-023, PIN 1-0836 -02-024 and PIN 1-0836 -02-006 located on Ogeechee Road (Highway 17) near Chatham Parkway, more fully described in that ordinance, a copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof, was annexed into the City; and

WHEREAS, the annexed property is zoned as designated “P-B-CO” on the zoning map of Chatham County, Georgia; and

WHEREAS, the City has adopted within its zoning code all County zoning classifications so that the City has a set of zoning classifications in common with the County zoning classifications;

NOW THEREFORE, be it ordained by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah that:

SECTION 1: The area annexed to the City described above is hereby added to the zoning map of the City, and the zoning classification designated for the property shall be the City zoning classification which is common with the zoning classification as designated by the County zoning map.

SECTION 2: This ordinance shall be effective upon the effective date of the annexation of said property in the City of Savannah pursuant to O.C.G.A. 36-66-4 (e) and the law in such cases made and provided.

SECTION 3: All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.


[Alderman Thomas asked if the proposed use of the site is for a restaurant]

15. Motion to Amend the 2018 Revenue Ordinance to Modify Water and Sewer Additional Connection Fees for Southwest Quadrant and Travis Field Treatment Plant Service Areas
Capital Cost Recovery Fee Modifications; June 2018.pdf

Ordinance read for the first time in Council June 21, 2018, then by unanimous consent of Council read a second time, placed upon its passage, adopted and approved upon a motion by Alderwoman Shabazz, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried.

Alderwoman Shabazz: This particular motion I just wanted to inform the public on the next move of expansion in the City of Savannah and that is this particular quadrant of the City in which is called the southwest quadrant, where the future expansion, growth and development of our City is going to take place. Mr. City Manager, if you don't mind on this particular item, it's talking about an agreement for fire, water and sewer for modifications and I just want to have an explanation given to our public in reference to this particular item before we vote on it.

City Manager Hernandez: Sure, Alderwoman Shabazz this particular item essentially cleans up a variety of sections of our ordinance that deals with water and sewer fees for the area that's known as New Hampstead. And so what this is doing is, you know, we have established a masterplan for service delivery in that area and we typically recoup those costs as development takes place over time. And what this does is it establishes two separate areas into one area, just simply known as the southwest quadrant and it establishes those cost recovery fees that we will charge to future developers in order to tie into the water and sewer system.

Ordinance requested but not yet received. Upon receipt it will be placed in the minutes and on file in the Office of the Clerk of Council.

16. Motion to Approve the Emergency and Disaster Management Ordinance
EM Ordinance July 2017 FINAL DRAFT PROPOSED.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Foster, and unanimously carried.

Ordinance in its entirety on file in the Office of the Clerk of Council.

17. Motion to Revise the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance

[Motion for approval was made by Alderman Durrence, and seconded by Alderman Miller]

Alderman Johnson: I hate to sound redundant but I will again, particularly as it relates to this alcohol ordinance and how important alcohol and management of alcohol is in our community. In particular I have been a proponent of the bar card and specifically still feel it is a most effective and efficient way of ensuring training, certification and identification. I think those are three facets that are extremely important as it relates to making sure people are safe in a city that allows people to drink everywhere. The other issue is the removal or proposed removal of the public's ability to see as we seen today for businesses to come before us, for businesses, for houses of faith to come before us, to be able to weigh in on alcohol beverage license hearings. I do not feel comfortable personally giving away my responsibility or the authority that has been vested in me to personally weigh in and approve or disapprove these types of things even if some people feel that it's a functional rubber stamp. I will tell you from my fourteen years on Council that they have not always been rubber stamps. The community weigh in is essential and we shouldn't just give something away because it's long and because it's hard. This is what our public expects us to do and I'm just appealing to you all again. As we've gone through this please listen maybe I'm speaking from a different vantage point because there are so many alcohol serving restaurants and establishments in my district. But I know that my residents appreciate the opportunity to know what's coming into their community. They do not hold a third party responsible, they hold me responsible as their alderman and so therefore I have to be able to advocate on their behalf in this matter. And I just ask that those two items be revised and we find better ways of dealing with it. Thank you very much.

Ronald Williams, President of the West Savannah Community Organization: Mr. Mayor, Council, my name is Ronald Williams and I am the President of the West Savannah Community Organization. I've had a chance to look at some of this revised ordinance right here and it used to be 24 pages now it's only 23 pages. Some of the things have been deleted and some of the things have been added. It seems like the things that’s been added go towards the businessman and not putting the community on what's going on. One of the things Alderman Van Johnson mentioned is the fact that this will be in the hands of one person. I'm more comfortable with y’all deciding on whether a person should have a license or not. Some of the revised things have been done I don't know whether y'all had a chance to see or look at the 23 pages because not too long ago I came down here and someone, a couple of people, wasn’t aware of what was in the ordinance governing alcohol and I thought that was a travesty for them not knowing what was in there and I'm not sure that everybody knows what's in there at this point. Thank you.

Gloria Williams, President Cuyler Brownville Community Association: Mayor DeLoach and members of the Savannah City Council. My name is Gloria Williams and I am the President of the Cuyler Brownville Community Association. On behalf of this Association, I am here before you today to express our disapproval of your intention to remove the alcohol public hearing process from the Savannah City Council agenda. As many of you are familiar, Cuyler Brownville has had long-standing issues in terms of alcohol sales and establishments serving alcohol in our community. We feel that it takes away from the character of our neighborhood and that it is unfair through zoning, that what is allowed in our historic neighborhood is not allowed in other neighborhoods in the City. We have worked hard as a group and collectively with the City through our Alderman Van Johnson to institute an overlay zone to prevent the introduction of even more alcohol establishments in our neighborhood. We have worked successfully to modify the operating practices of several alcohol establishments in our community, and this is only achieved through the public hearing process. To the members of this Council and especially and particularly to the members that directly represent Cuyler Brownville, Mayor DeLoach,  Aldermen Johnson, Bell and Foster, we ask that you consider our wishes of our neighborhood and the work that we do daily to ensure that we remain a viable neighborhood. Please vote to keep the alcohol hearing on the public agenda. Please continue to allow the public to remain a part of this important process. Again, we ask that you vote against it.

Alderwoman Shabazz: And I must also state my disapproval and we need to really look at this situation really, really hard. In my district along with and I stand and speak for and with all of my neighborhood association presidents and all of my citizens that reside in my district. We too have and we passed here on City Council an overlay district in one segment of the district due to the fact of the overwhelming amount of businesses that have liquor licenses and alcohol licenses in the district. This cannot, it would be a travesty for my district especially in certain saturated areas where alcohol is so prevalent and where with that type of business, those types of businesses and more try to come in without the control of City Council, it would be a travesty because we won't have control of that and leaving that in the hands of some random person or staff person would not be good for the citizens in the City. So I disapprove of having this type of hearing officer position a part of this alcohol ordinance. And I speak for the folks that I represent. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Alderman Foster: Mr. Mayor there are some things in this that I certainly agree with. The bar card elimination and background check, that was what the industry had asked for and we heard that it couldn't and there was no way to administer it properly, we got that. They have insurance policies they're required to police themselves. So, we decided we needed to get out of running the business of the business. But we didn't have a lot of discussion about these administrative hearings, Aldermen Johnson and Alderwoman Shabazz, and I don't disagree with you. Matter of fact I would support an amendment to take that piece out of this.

[Motion and vote]: Upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and carried the motion was amended to remove the administrative hearing process from the proposed alcohol ordinance with the following voting in favor: Mayor DeLoach, Aldermen Bell, Miller, Foster, Johnson, Thomas, Hall, and Shabazz. Alderman Durrence voted against the motion.

City Manager Hernandez: My understanding is that with this amendment we're removing the proposal to allow an administrative hearing officer to decide on applications regarding alcohol. So before you I imagine is everything else.

[Motion to approve original motion with amendment and vote]: Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Miller, and carried, with the following voting in favor: Mayor DeLoach, Aldermen Bell, Miller, Foster, Thomas, Hall, and Shabazz. Alderman Durrence and Johnson voted against the motion.

Alderman Thomas: Y’all took the wind out my sails with this, but I agree with the amendment that was made by Alderman Foster. I think it was a good thing because this Council, the members that serve the districts are the ones who get the calls when the location go bad. One of the things that I want to make sure that staff understands though is something that we've talked about in the past, and I see we have our Chief of Police here too. When these locations go bad and they start to go bad, there needs to be better communication to the Council about these locations before they end up in the murder, or before they end up in the incident that's on the front page of the paper. Usually that's not just one time when these locations are going bad. They have a history of years, months and years before we really start to take that corrective action from the City to prompt what we would call a show cause hearing. So I'd like to see better communications with the Council on problem locations that have been reported for years so that we can actively know and take a course of action to prevent that front page news story from occurring.

Alderman Johnson: Mr. Mayor, I just want to add to that part of the reason why we, and Alderman Thomas remembers, we went with the bar cards was because of enforcement. Mr. City Manager my expectation would be that we enforce and enforcement is not eight to five Monday through Friday. Enforcement is in the evenings, it’s on weekends, its 2:00 in the morning when people all over the place. And again with the elimination of the bar cards, essentially what we're saying is that we will be holding businesses accountable. Which was the reason for the bar card in the first place, to hold a person accountable rather than holding a business accountable. So, I hope those that helped to co-author that understand that very clearly. When we have these show cause hearings I don’t want to hear well it wasn't us, it was the employee. Well that's the reason why we had it. Thank you.

Ordinance in its entirety on file in the Office of the Clerk of Council.

18. Motion to Award a Contract for Arena Design Services to Perkins + Will (Event No. 6044)
Arena Design Purchasing Summary.pdf
Arena Design Services Funding Verification.pdf
Arena Design Scope.pdf
Arena Design Bid Tab.pdf

Alderman Johnson: Well again, I repeat the same comments that I did in the earlier session. Welcome to another part of really the most significant public undertaking that this City will ever undertake. That being said, it's just so important to ensure from the very, very beginning that we are using techniques, practices, companies and firms that are going to help make our community better. But yet the community is able to also see a benefit from the work that's being done. I asked some questions and have not gotten an answer yet about particularly I've heard about the DBE firms. I’ve heard about local firms. I've asked some specific questions about who the local firms were, and who the local minority firms were and I was promised that I would get that and I haven't seen it. Is that available yet? If not, we might want to move forward and to come back to this.

City Manager Hernandez: We think we can answer most of Alderman Johnson's questions. However with respect to which firm is a minority owned firm. Remember now we're no longer tracking that, we're tracking Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). We can tell you who is considered a DBE under our ordinance.

Alderman Johnson: Hence why I asked the question before, because again you can't track that which you don't track. So, I still would like that answer. I just think, you know once we vote on it that boat has sailed and I think we have to have some accountability here are particularly when people come forward. We can’t just say oh yeah, we have DBE’s, we have this, we have that, but then you don't see that benefit. So, I would like to see some names. If we can't, like I said, we could always come back to it, to provide you all the time to do it.

City Manager Hernandez: So, what we will have to do in that instance is contact the companies and ask them to self-identify.

Alderman Johnson: We wouldn't have that information anyway?

City Manager Hernandez: No, we're not tracking that now because we're tracking DBE status. We have a race and gender neutral program now.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Now this is, I stopped this particular item, in talking with the City Manager yesterday and brought it to the attention of my colleagues on City Council on this morning in reference to this item. Now in January and before the passing of our ordinance, our Savannah Business Ordinance Program that we've passed and I worked really hard for almost two years and with the City Manager’s help and our mayor, with his support with getting this new ordinance and new program passed. Now it's been said by Alderman Johnson because this arena project is in his district and that's why I'm glad that he spoke first. Let me speak on this whole thing in the room. Now my time and effort and research and work to get this passed cannot go for naught. With this arena project being the largest project that any of us sitting in this room today will witness and probably our children in the history of the City of Savannah will witness. This particular item we're talking about now is $8,820,000 of an architectural and engineering contract and I will not, I will not go to sleep on this. The new ordinance talks about which is the Savannah Business Ordinance, has two segments and the second segment of this ordinance talks about Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs. What it entails according to our ordinance is that a company’s revenue is less than $23.98 million and this project, this line item falls in that category. Now, the process is what I am so questionable about. Because we put our agenda out for the public to see, I have been getting tons of calls throughout this community from business, from the business community, along with the faith based community and just citizens in general in reference to this. Because everybody's eyes are on the arena project and the amount of money. There has to be a serious inclusive and almost equitable and equal distribution of the money. The taxpayer’s money in the border of the City of Savannah, that’s what I'm speaking about. We cannot swiftly pass things, especially when we're talking about this arena project. Because there must be and there has to be and we who sit on the City Council, it is our duty, our due diligence that we must do in our duty to make sure that the distribution of whatever's going on, on that project with this amount of taxpayers’ dollars are done in a fair manner. So, in reference to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, the details swifting over this cannot be. I am asking that our Council for the next 14 days if possible, or if we can't or unless you have some answers today explain to me about who are the DBE’s that we're talking about in the definition of our ordinance we specifically say that the office of the DBE must be located in the City limits, I'm not talking about the borders of Chatham County. I'm talking about the borders of the City of Savannah. I want to find out about the method or the verification of the business licenses that you all use, the process and all of this, the short listing, who are they specifically? Not just from your metrics of a summary that you have given to us in our staff report, but I need specifics, on how did you arrive at all of this? This is upsetting to the public, upsetting to me, upsetting to the faith community and just upsetting overall. There are some people in our chamber today who have come to specifically talk about this item. We need the ethic breakdown of the DBE firms that was involved in the short listing of this particular RFP and other things that needs. We need some answers.

Alderman Miller: Mr. Mayor, I'd kind of like Mr. Dominguez to kind of give us a refresher on what we did when we moved from M/WBE to DBE. As I recall we moved in that direction because it was fair to more people and that was going to be the criteria that we used in the future. I want to make sure that we're not abandoning that because somebody's friend didn't get involved or something.

City Manager Hernandez: I’ll have Mr. Dominguez approach the podium in a second Alderman Miller if I can, but I want to take a stab first at in general explaining the shortlist process because I think then that will help tie into Mr. Dominguez. So, typically what happens when we shortlist and in a case like this where we have numerous responses to a proposal and in this case it's complicated, it's a large project. We know we can't interview all firms. Staff will then select a number, an arbitrary number, whether it's three, four, or five or whatever, firms to invite to appear before staff, give a presentation, answer questions and so on and so forth, that's called shortlisting. The process we use here, and it's not dissimilar to the process I've used in other jurisdictions, is that we look at a firm's qualification and experience working on similar projects. We then pick that number, I believe in this case it was three and we invite the three shortlisted firms to come in and give a presentation. Typically there's a numerical score that's associated with arriving at the short list. The process that we use here, similar to the process I've used elsewhere, excludes costs and excludes DBE. It is solely based on a firm's qualification based on our review of the response to the proposal. Then once that firm comes in and is given an opportunity to present, should we do presentations, then we have a final scoring and then that final scoring takes into account cost and it takes into account the level of DBE participation and a company’s local preference, and then we arrive at a recommendation that we make to City Council, which is what we're doing here. Now if you could recall earlier this year, our new DBE program went into effect as part of the Savannah Business Opportunity ordinance revision that establishes a race and gender neutral program. That expanded the definition of disadvantage entities that would qualify for four points under our new ordinance. Again, we went with a race and gender neutral program for a variety of reasons which I'm not going to go over now, but that's the program that we have in effect at the moment. And now I'm going to ask Mr. Dominguez to address your specific questions as to how DBE firms are vetted and verified in terms of having a local preference presence and so forth.

Manny Dominguez, Director of the Office of Business Opportunity: So, just to sort of tackle a few of those questions. First of all, I will say, we were very happy with the DBE participation on this project. We had Perkins & Will had just over 22 percent participation, which is as you may remember, our annual goal is 18 percent, so that exceeds that. So we were happy with that participation and they had a total of eight potential subcontractors, four of them were local within our area, two within the City of Savannah, the other two within Chatham, and the remaining four in Atlanta. So, we are ecstatic about that level of participation. This was what we call an open gold process and you may be familiar with that in the past. Essentially what that means is we asked the market to come back with their absolute highest level of participation and out of the three firms that were shortlisted, Perkins & Will had 22 percent, which is more than double the next highest. So we were very happy with that DBE participation. To answer the question related to how we verify all this. The DBE program as we mentioned before, and the City Manager mentioned, is a program that is used at the State and Federal level to designate a socially and disadvantaged owned business. There is no distinction in the program between women owned or minority owned, but both of those groups are included in the disadvantaged definition. And so the way that the program once it changed on January 1st from the M/WBE where we did distinguish between the two groups. Now we no longer do that and it's a best practice and it's a program that again is used at the State and Federal level. Does that answer that piece of it? And I think you had a question about specifically who were the eight firms that were subcontracted. Those are on the agenda item there you can see them, I'm happy to read them, but you can see on there which were included.

Alderwoman Shabazz: I have a question out of the eight DBE firms that were given in our staff report local with evidence or verification of one year. I mean was that verified?

Mr. Dominguez: So, I think that might be the local preference programs. So, there are three primary programs that this Council updated and/or created at the beginning of this year. One was the local preference program I believe earlier this year, the Council increased some of the percentage thresholds for the local preference and that is completely race, gender neutral. There is no component of that that has to do with race or gender. What that tries to do is make sure that local firms have a competitive advantage and are able to compete for local dollars.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Now that’s where I'm falling off the log with all of this. When we were over in the workshop and the question was asked about who were the DBE firms and the contractor went around the room and pointed out who the involvement of the persons from their company side, which this particular company is being, is supposed to be awarded if this Council approves it today or whenever we approve it. And as I looked and I just have to be really straightforward with this because this is where I'm coming from on this particular issue right now, is that I did not see any recognition whatsoever of any black or brown folks that were called out from around the room. I just have to be frank about it. We're talking about $8,820,000 and the community that makes up this City is not being represented in those $8.8 million. I have a serious problem, not at you sir, let me look at the rest of this room. This is where my concern is.

City Manager Hernandez: If I may, what I think I am hearing is, not putting words in Dr. Shabazz’s mouth, but what I think I'm hearing is dissatisfaction over the level of DBE participation even though it's at 22 percent. I'm hearing that that at least one of you feel that that's not high enough.

Alderman Johnson: Let me just provide some clarification because I think I'm hearing… Alderman Miller I think that your question is absolutely correct. When we changed from an M/WBE program which specifically counted these things we voluntarily moved to a program for which these things are not counted anymore and they are part of greater categories. Now we're trying to go from the macro back to the micro in which we don't count anymore. So I think your point is well taken. What I'm hearing is that the staff has followed the DBE program as it is supposed to be. With a 22 percent participation rate, which is double of what had been asked for by the second respondent to this, but we're down talking and going back saying let's talk about the things we used to be able to measure. Her question is really more about not DBE’s general, hers is about DBE’s local, specifically African American and woman owned local. Now under our prior program we would have done that. We would have that information because we would count those things. We don't count those things anymore. And so, you know, unfortunately when we moved forward with that program, and I raised that issue then that when you stop counting things specifically, you stopped counting. And so now we're in a situation where we have a respondent before us, they have followed all the rules, followed the rules we set, and now we're at a point of which we are to award. We've taken out our ability to be able to drill down on specifics because that's just not our way of doing business anymore.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Well let me step in on this. Now before the change, when we did have our M/WBE program in effect when I got on City Council and I sat through my first term, started into my second term, we still had the M/WBE program with the City of Savannah on the books and it wasn’t being followed, none whatsoever and I'm just going to let it all out of the bag. Even when we were talking about race with M/WBE, that black and brown folks were not included. When I first got on City Council and as we moved forward I saw that there we needed to have some type of mechanism in place, something, let’s try something differently because everybody was not getting a fair share at City contracts when we were doing the M/WBE program. So I'm not going to let that go into in the background that that was working all squeaky clean because it was not. So, I came up with the Mayor's permission to move forward as a liaison on City Council to look and do the research on this particular issue and I did so and with working with our City Manager when he came in to help me further understand and work in reference to getting these two ordinances improved, which we're talking about our Sheltered Market Program and our DBE program into place and that is what we're working with and this is a pilot situation for the next two years that we're working on to see if there's measurable outcomes of this DBE and the Sheltered Market Programs. So, with and not saying that we will not go back to the M/WBE program if this does not work, it's only two years and if it doesn't work I'm going to be the first one on the front step to say that we need to go back down M/WBE program. But I'm not going to sit back and say that the DBE program is not going to work. We've got to give it a chance, but we've got to speak on it and make sure everything is fair and equitable even as our companies, are choosing their subcontractors. Our companies should have a due diligence on the people that live in the City of Savannah when we're spending $8 million, $25 million, $150 million, these are not small numbers in the City of Savannah. So, this is where I am with the DBE program and I still stand beside it.

Alderman Hall: In view of Alderwoman Shabazz’s concerns and Alderman Johnson’s concerns what we're talking about is local people, local minorities and all we asked for is more time to come up with what we talked about before Council meeting. Delaying this two more weeks is not going to hurt anything, it’s 20 years behind schedule anyway.

City Manager Hernandez: I just want to want to be clear. So are you asking to delay this item for two weeks so we can ask the recommended prime contractor to voluntarily obtain…

Alderman Johnson: It’s self-reporting

City Manager Hernandez: It’s self-reporting. They don't have to, now we can make the request and again, if the sub's choose not to, they don't have to divulge that.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Well I think we need to have the opportunity to do so. And we're talking about, and I agree totally with ultimate whole. We've been waiting 20, 25, 30 years for this to happen. I don't see what's going on with 14 days.

Alderman Foster: Is it possible to get the information and not have to completely redo the RFP process?

City Manager Hernandez: Yes. I was going to request that information of the recommended firm and have that information back before you in two weeks unless they can provide it here on the spot. They may know that information.

Alderman Johnson: What is the impact, because I do know that these things kind of work, one process or the ending of one process cuts off other things occurring. Is there a negligible impact in terms of how this happens financing just the movement of other parts?

City Manager Hernandez: Well, you know, as you understand, this is a complicated project and construction costs go up daily. So, two weeks is an additional delay and yes, you're right, it's been 20 years in the making, but two weeks is two weeks and it slows the project down by two weeks and costs go up in two weeks. Is it the end of the world, no.

Attorney Stillwell: We're also trying to get to the point where we can break ground sometime next summer and we’re getting close to that.

Alderman Johnson: Does the respondent know the information?

Manny Dominguez: If the question is whether… if you need to know who the local DBE’s are, I have that information. So, I have that self-reported. Symbiocity is a woman owned business, DBE, and they're local and Brockington is also a woman owned business.

Alderwoman Shabazz: That was already stated over in the workshop room. Mr. Mayor, if you don't mind, if we could, I think you have some members from the audience who asked to speak on this.

Reverend Thurmond Tillman, First African Baptist Church: Mayor, Council, my name is Thurmond Tillman. Out of all that has been said about it, I think the thing we really want to focus on as far as clergy in our community is our poverty rate in Savannah which is 24 percent. When we have an opportunity like this to make an impact on the impoverished part of our community, we want to do it strategically. We want to some kind of way design that as we work with those who are impoverished, those who are unemployed, underemployed, those who have an opportunity, and this is the type of opportunity that helps our entire community. Now it doesn't matter to me if you got whatever you call it, the program. If the person who's over this has a heart for the community in which they are working and want to see the community better off when they leave than when they came that's what we're talking about and there’s a way to make that happen with so much money. When we come back two years, five years later and say, oh, I wish we could have, should have, when the money was here and people given this, no… we really have to take the time now when the opportunity comes. Part of what I know of some clergy have been working on and churches doing our best to alleviate violence in our community and every place shows that poverty and violence there's a direct correlation between the two. So, on behalf of reducing the violence in our community we just want whoever is in charge with the arena and any other projects to take a good look at the folk who have not been employed or unemployed of getting better employment and opportunities for businesses that are disadvantaged that I'm not sure what the DBE means, if I want to be labeled a disadvantaged business, I just want to be a business and I want to be able to help everybody else who is in business and everybody else who's not in business to help our entire community. So, that's the point that I know we're concerned about is that the opportunity is now to be able to help those who need help. People who have been incarcerated, coming out of prison. A lot of people just won’t hire them because of them coming out of prison. But yet there's an opportunity to reduce crime in our community. At one point, 75 percent of all crime committed, in our community was committed by people who had been incarcerated. So, that's what you're looking at. I could go on and on but I'm not because I knew I had three minutes, but I really want to say that's more the intent to make sure that we put something in place that will help those who are truly disadvantaged which are those that are poverty ridden in our community.

Alderman Johnson: Quick question I mean I think are we getting this confused because on one end we were talking about design, we're not talking about construction, correct? So, $8 million for design is a very specialized discipline and so, I mean I think the opportunities for which Rev. Tillman is talking about are deftly in the whole construction, which is an immensely larger amount of money than the $8 million we're talking about for design. I'm not sure we would have general opportunities for that.

Rev. Tillman: In design at all levels because when you look at the company who’s designing and doing the architecture and all of that, how do they fare with helping those local to have a better, because there are some people in our community who can do the design, architect could join on with them and learn how to do it. Students from Savannah State, from Armstrong, from SCAD, all of those. Is there anybody there who's looking at those in our community who could be a part of these firms to learn those skills so later on in life they could…

Alderman Johnson: You’re talking about more like a community benefit because obviously those students wouldn't be a DBE.

Rev. Tillman: Well, I don't know what a DBE is, they are disadvantaged but it might be because they are a student. That’s all I was asking.

Alderwoman Shabazz: Well the thing about it is and what he’s talking about is the domino effect. When businesses who contribute back and hire those who are in the community, his points are definitely positive points on this particular subject. Even though we're talking about engineering and architecture.

City Manager Hernandez: Mr. Mayor if I may make a comment on what Rev. Tillman mentioned because something did pop out at me and that is, are there opportunities for essentially a mentor protégé program within this larger one? And I would love the opportunity regardless of the decision today to explore that with the firm to see if they would agree to do just that, really establish a mentor protégé program for architectural firms. That was an excellent suggestion.

Ernest Joyner, Perkins & Will: I was the one who was in charge of sort of assembling the team. I don't think I understood the complexity of all of the sides of this, but what we got was the request for proposal and it had an 18 percent goal and we really honestly set out to exceed that and we're very proud that we did. I mean I've got this is the spreadsheet that I spent a lot of time creating and I'm just going down and you know, Coastline is an MBE, MMSA, our structural engineer, is an MBE, SL King, one of our mechanical engineers, is an MBE, and then Chris Goode, Goode Van Slyke, is an MBE and we have partnered with him as our 25 percent architecture partner. We would be happy to explore adding… there are requirements that we have to have licensed individuals. We would love to explore adding more Savannah people to our team if they're qualified. We'd love to do protégé programs as well. We were totally open to that.

Alderman Miller: I want to make sure I know what we're asking. Is what we're asking is we had nine firms that applied that was shortlisted to three, I believe. The question is of those that were not on the short list, how many of them are MBE’s or M/WBE’s local? Am I right with the question or am I wrong with a question?

Alderwoman Shabazz: The terminology is DBE.

Alderman Miller But there are only two, can we not get that information? There were only two Savannah firms that were included. And I think the question is, okay, why weren't the local, if they are DBE’s and were when they qualified, why weren't they in there? We only have two firms to talk about. Right?

City Manager Hernandez: None of the nine responding firms were local.

Alderwoman Shabazz: And that's one of the problems.

Alderman Miller: The list that you gave me has two local firms listed of the nine.

Attorney Stillwell: Julian, you're talking about the two subs that are DBE. None of the nine prime contractors are local. This is a really sophisticated architectural contract.

Mr. Joyner: If I clarify a little bit, so Perkins & Will would be the prime architects. We would only get 34 percent of the total fee. We're paying consultants all the rest of that money. So, we have split some of our prime money with our prime architect, minority partner and then the rest all goes to consultants which are many minorities as well.

Mayor DeLoach: I think we’ve covered it with y'all and I want to say Dr. Shabazz has worked very hard on this and she's done a yeoman's job making this thing right. I'm not saying that it's perfect, nothing we do is perfect, but we work hard in making a thing right and I feel like our staff does the same thing, and I know they do with her checking behind them. So, this one might not be exactly what we thought it would be or hoped it would be, but we got 22 percent participation rather than six or seven on the other one when we had the other program. So, now we've got more people you know, and if you're a disadvantaged, you don't care whether you white or black, you're disadvantaged, you know what I'm saying? So those folks that are disadvantaged, regardless of their color, they appreciate an opportunity up. The color does not determine that. Okay. So, she has given people an opportunity to step and move up regardless of what color you are. And that is what this whole program is about. I'm sorry that folks don't get in there that need to get in there. I apologize. I bid on a lot of stuff and I would love to have that job and I don't think there's anybody that can do it better than me, but when it comes down to it, if I don't get to the bid, I don't get the bid. I'll move on and try to get another one. I appreciate your upfront comments and if you can do that protégé program, I think it would go a long way to improving the overall feeling of the whole community. But we need to go ahead and move forward with this, pass it and let's get down the road with it.

Alderman Foster: Did I hear a commitment that we're going to do that protégé?

Mr. Joyner: Yes, I’ll make that commitment right now today, we'd be happy to do that. We actually have programs already in place in our firm.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried per the City Manager’s recommendation.

Mayor DeLoach: Now we got a preacher standing there, you shook his hand you can’t back out.


19. Motion to Amend Contract for Information Technology Assessment Services with Elert and Associates (Event No. 5187)
Strategic IT Plan Purchasing Summary.pdf
Strategic IT Plan Funding Verification.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

20. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Equine Sanitation Services to Image Keepers (Event No. 6012)
Equine Sanitation Purchasing Summary.pdf
Equine Sanitation Funding Verification.pdf
Equine Sanitation Scope.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

21. Motion to Award Contract for Hurricane Damage Repairs to Johnson-Laux Construction (Event No. 6131)
Civic Center Flooring Purchasing Summary.pdf
Civic Center Flooring Funding Verification.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

22. Motion to Renew Annual Contract for Golden Age Transportation with JLM Transport Services (Event No. 5010)
Golden Age Purchasing Summary.pdf
Golden Age Funding Verification.pdf
Golden Age Bid Tab.pdf
Golden Age Specs.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderwoman Shabazz recused herself.

23. Motion to Award Contract for Design Services for Georgetown Sewer Improvements to EMC Engineering Services, Inc. (Event No. 5906)
Georgetown Purchasing Summary.pdf
Georgetown Funding Verification.pdf
Georgetown Scope.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

24. Motion to Renew ArcGIS Annual Maintenance Agreement with Environmental Systems Research Information Group, Inc. (Event No. 6160)
ESRI Purchasing Summary.pdf
ESRI Funding Verification.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

25. Motion to Award Contract to Install Electrical Power Service at Tribble Park to Georgia Power (Event No. 6214)
Tribble Lake Purchasing Summary.pdf
Tribble Park Funding Verification.pdf

Alderman Thomas: Mr. Mayor thank you, on item number 25 and I see Heath Lloyd is here. So, if Mr. Lloyd could come forward.

City Manager Hernandez: Is there a specific question you want to ask him?

Alderman Thomas: Mr. Manager no, I guess I need a little explanation on the electrical bill $37,000.

City Manager Hernandez: Okay while he’s coming to the podium I just want to point out this is a SPLOST funded project. I'm sorry, I’m incorrect it is a general fund funded project.

Alderman Thomas: No sir, it's going to be a SPLOST. I just want to also point out that we've been 10 years to get here to do this and that's been batted back and forth, but this project is going to get completed one fund or another. But I do thank you for that. You know, whether it's in six capital, whether we make it up really. I do want to also point out that this was part of the $410,000 in capital improvements for that again has been batted around for Joseph Tribble Park for the last decade. It looks like that some of those monies will not be needed to complete this project so I'm very happy about that. I just wanted you, Mr. Lloyd, with the manager's permission to just explain to us what this expenditure is for?

Heath Lloyd, Chief Infrastructure and Development Officer: Absolutely, afternoon Mayor and Aldermen. So, what this particular item refers to is the electrical power service that supports a previous purchase that was approved by Council. Specifically it was basically an aerator for Joe Tribble Park. So, this is the electrical service, it’s coming in at a sole source because obviously it's being done by Georgia Power. As far as the price Alderman, I think it’s approximately $37,000. But again, it will support all of the electrical that has to be put in to Joe Tribble to include the aerator as well as the camera system that were all a part of the approved CIP fees.

Alderman Thomas: How about the flag?

Mr. Lloyd: And the flag. We recently installed the flag, we raised the flag of Joe Tribble Park on Flag Day. So, we are certainly doing some improvements at Joe Tribble Park and we will continue to do those improvements that were approved by City Council.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Thomas, seconded by Alderman Durrence, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderwoman Shabazz was not present for the vote.

26. Notification of Emergency Purchase of 48 Inch Bell Joint Repair Clamp from Core & Main (Event No. 6188)
48 Inch Clamp Purchasing Summary.pdf
48 Inch Clamp Funding Verification.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

27. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Trenchless Sewer Line Repair to Southeast Pipe Survey, Inc. and Insituform Technologies, LLC (Event No. 5937)
Trenchless Sewer Line Purchasing Summary.pdf
Trenchless Sewer Line Funding Verification.pdf
Trenchless Sewer Scope.pdf
Trenchless Sewer Bid Tabulation.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Bell, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

28. Motion to Approve Lease Amendment with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC at 1801 Kerry Street.
Map and Picture of Cingular Wireless - 1801 Kerry Street.pdf
Fourth Lease Amendment - Cingular Wireless -1801 Kerry St.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Hall, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderwoman Shabazz was not present for the vote.

Alderwoman Bell asked if the tower belongs to the City of Savannah. City Manager Hernandez replied yes.

29. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement for 301 and 309 Little Hearst Parkway
301 and 309 Litle Hearst Parkway.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderwoman Shabazz was not present for the vote.

30. Motion to Approve Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Concerning the Savannah Ceasefire Task Force
MOU with ATF.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Miller, seconded by Alderman Durrence, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderwoman Shabazz was not present for the vote.

31. Motion to Settle Workers' Compensation Claim

Attorney Stillwell: Mr. Mayor, this is a settlement of a workers' compensation claim by Yvette Garcia. Ms. Garcia is a former police corporal. She sustained injuries to her left ankle in connection with her duties. We've settled her workers' comp claim for $65,000. Subject to Council approval, we recommend approval.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderman Johnson, and unanimously carried per the City Attorney’s recommendation.

32. Motion to Approve Cumberland Point Phase 4
Cumberland Point 4 Master Plan
Plat Cumberland Phase 4 Sheet 1
Plat Cumberland Phase 4 Sheet 2

Alderman Johnson: Just for purposes of reminding you as we always do that the Highlands is continuously growing by leaps and bounds and we have to make sure the infrastructure keeps up with the growth.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. 

33. Motion to Approve Highlands Boulevard and Morgan Lakes Industrial Boulevard Right-of-Way Dedication Plat
Right of Way Plat
Highlands Master ROW Plan

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. 

34. Motion to Approve a Major Subdivision of Parcel 1 being a Portion of Former Tract M of The Highlands
Parcel 1 Major Subdivison
Highlands Master Plan

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. 

35. Motion to Authorize the City Manager to Accept the 2018 Environmental Protection Agency Community-Wide Brownfield Assessment Grant Award
Brownfield Grant Resolution.pdf

Alderman Durrence: More broadly this has been shepherded by the City’s Sustainability Department and I read something the other day that was a little bit of a snarky comment about the Sustainability Department like somebody didn't see the value of that and I just wanted to emphasize how much I think that department is useful to the City. They pioneered exploration experimentation with electric vehicles for our fleet, which will provide a number of benefits to the City. They analyze our physical properties for more efficient ways of operating them. And in particular, this grant, we have a number of brownfields in the Montgomery Street and MLK corridor because the auto dealerships were there at one time, gas stations, dry cleaners, all of those areas are very difficult to redevelop because of the brownfield. And this is the third time that the City has applied for this grant. We have gotten it now and this $300,000 grant will not only allow us to pin down a lot of very specific information to help with the redevelopment in that corridor, but in the case of minor mitigations, if somebody just has an underground tank or something like that, this grant can even help take care of that so that the redevelopment of that project can go forward. So I just, I think this is a great project and I think that this is a  department that doesn't get noticed very much, but it's providing quite a service to the community.

Alderwoman Shabazz: In reference to more specifically MLK when the discussion was beginning to take place with the brownfield situations in our community, there were several, several locations and several parcels on Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard where the discovery of the past, the history and the herstory. The old service stations back then they were full service stations and with the underground contamination and the discovery of those gasoline tanks underground, I am just thankful that we are given this $300,000 for helping us and helping our community to make sure that are not going to be contaminated as we move forward with development and growth in our City.

City Manager Hernandez: So I just want to make that statement. As a result of Mr. Deffley’s efforts in helping us I have been contacted by the EPA about opportunities to do even more in areas of the City to help us redevelop those areas. And again, that is directly as a result of Mr. Deffley’s efforts.

Approved upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation. Alderman Johnson was not present for the vote.

36. Motion to Direct the City Manager to Modify the 2018 Budget and Capital Improvement Program; the 2018 Revenue Ordinance, Article L - Fire Services Fee; and Sec. 3-2096, Article H, the Fire Services Utility Ordinance
Fire Services Special Revenue Fund Ordinance.pdf

Alderwoman Bell: On item number 36 as you, Council, and the public may recall at the end of last Council meeting, two weeks ago, I directed the City Manager and staff to bring City Council back options to review with no fire fee and staff did that. In a budget workshop on this past Monday, we spent several hours looking at various options including the option that was referred, or that was suggested, or presented by the Mayor cutting the proposed fire fee by one half and some other options were presented as well. But we also came to a consensus on no fire fee and adherence to the replies of all segments of the community. So today, item 36, reads: Motion to direct the City Manager to modify the 2018 Budget and Capital Improvement Program; the 2018 Revenue Ordinance, Article L-Fire Services Fee; and Section 3-2096, Article H, the Fire Services Utility Ordinance. Alderman Foster will give the fiscal implications of what Council is recommending or directing the Manager to do today.

Alderman Foster: For those who might not have heard the discussions that took place earlier today in the workshop or Monday in the budget process. Monday, we unanimously agreed as Alderwoman Bell said to not go forward with fire fee. I want to repeat just real quickly a couple of things that were said then, we learned over the last several months some very critical and important things as to why Savannah is so different from other similar or larger sized cities that have fire fees. We learned things we did not know last year when we went through that budget process. We didn't know, for instance, until recently that almost 19,000 parcels, real estate parcels in the City, 18,600 something paid either no tax or almost no tax and that includes tax exempts, but there are an awful lot of properties in the City and out of the 50 something thousand parcels, we have about a third paid little or no tax. That is a very high number that I don't think any of us had an understanding of in this community. So, that was first thing that was certainly new to me as we began investigating these numbers. The second thing that we learned as we began going through this process, we started getting feedback from the larger commercial property owners. One thing that is different about Savannah and let me remind everybody, Savannah was in existence before Atlanta was even discovered. So, there are people who have owned property here for 100 plus years. So we've got some very large property owners in the City that fall under different classifications than commercial. I started getting feedback that well you know, my fire fee bill is going to be $70,000. We thought there was a cap that was much lower than that. Then we started getting feedback well, we already pay a fire fee. I didn't know, this was the first time that I had learned this and I think some other Council members also that may have not known that we have large industrial tracks that pay the City a fire fee today of five mills. So, we had a fairness issue all across the board. Some companies and business owners would actually be paying four or five times more in a fire fee than in a property tax. If you look at the third category, which is everybody else that's in the middle, folks that own their homes and pay taxes every year and they pay higher than the $250. That segment was going to get a millage rollback that would in some cases offset the fire fee. But they also have Stephen’s Day, which Stephen's Day only applies to the City, so they'll get some protection there if they don't get a millage rollback. So, the one thing we decided at the meeting was we're not going to do the fire fee and there won't be a rollback because that was really associated with fire fee. So, where does that leave us? Well, the staff did a great job in just a couple of days, they came up with several options. One staying at the 12.48 mills, and then two and three, a small increase and showed us what could be covered because if we cut expenses, we've got services that are going to get cut because we all agreed unanimously as a Council that we would not touch the police department and the increased staff there. It was extremely important because that's our number one strategic, a strategy in the City. Just those 120 plus officers that we have added to our staff to meet full capacity for the first time in over a decade. That's a $12 million cost if you just say it costs $100,000 to hire and train and equip a police officer. So, that's $12 million in funding that we have got to cover, that’s a given. So, then what's left and each member of Council has in front of them the categories. And for instance, if we stayed at 12.48 millage rate we would have to cut things like Savannah Shines, we'd have to cut the increased mowing capacity to keep the grass done, which was a huge complaint. We would have to cut some extremely important IT upgrades. We really have got to have a new budget software system, I spent time and we have a 1970 kind of system. I was really surprised at how outdated it is. Everybody knows the IT problems we have, we've got to spend money to fix that. We got to do a better job. We can do electronic time keeping system implementation. In my opinion, that saves us money. It saves us legal fees. That's a net positive to us, and we have got to do the software upgrades on Code Compliance. So, if you look at that and say, well, we really have to stop. We have to continue the Savannah Shines project that we have already started in Edgemere Sackville, I’ll let John Hall explain because that’s his. But we have a playground that hasn't even been ordered yet and we've cleared it and we're acquiring the property. So, we've got some things have to be done. It is my personal belief that we can do a small millage increase that I hope will not be a permanent to fund certain key items that have to be done. A lot of the feedback I got from people I've talked to especially in the business community was fees don't seem to go away, but if you do a millage increase to make sure we keep these projects going, I got more faith that maybe the millage can rollback if we have the revenue growth that we hope for. So, that's kind of where I am today. The question is whether we want that number to be as low as possible to get these absolutely critical projects funded and keep the police funded.

Alderman Hall: Savannah Shines initiative has been a godsend to a particular neighborhood off of Waters Avenue where we have already gone in and made significant improvement and we promised the neighborhood that we will do everything we can to eradicate all the gun violence and the inadequate housing that affect that neighborhood and we are well on the way. We also have to acquire some more property for a playground. One is not there, one has never been there. So, I just think it would be there very unfair to pull the plug on that project. We all want things, but they cost money. I want the Savannah Shines initiative to be continued; I want a dedicated litter crew to keep trash off the streets, particularly in the Skidaway corridor; I want condemned houses torn down and replaced with affordable housing in Avondale and Pine Gardens; I want to see the Wheaton Street corridor restored to a thriving hub; I want the Penn Ave Resource Center to be built and provided with cradle to the grave services; I want flood remediation in Twickenham and Gordonston and throughout the area; I want traffic calming in the Fernwood Parkwood Neighborhood; and finally I want a sound infrastructure system throughout the City of Savannah. All of these projects cost money, but will strengthen and improve our City tremendously, that is why I'm supporting a millage increase. Thank you.

Alderman Thomas: Well from the onset of this fee, I've had some very genuine concerns about the manner in which the fee was assessed. It's not that I don't believe that the 5,800 properties in Savannah that aren't on the tax roster should not be paying something. It's the manner in which we have used the term fee to divide it out over everyone and I don't think that that's fair. What I don't also think is fair is that we do have 5,800 properties in the City that are not contributing to the tax base. So, I've asked before and I asked that at the workshop that we look at the legislature to see if there are any avenues for us to look at the possibility of getting some kind of a power to assess a use fee in case we have to deploy assets to those locations in order to recover some of the monies that it cost in order to do that. I think that the City Attorney is looking into that to see if there are possibilities for that and other mechanisms. I understand it's a very a hard decision to have to make here because one is if I can read tea leaves, I think we're going to repeal the fire fee, which I think is the right thing to do. We're going to have to make some decisions on the millage rate and the impact and what we decide are the things that we feel that have to be in that budget. You know from the beginning this has been something that has fractured the Council somewhat and split this Council in a six to three. But I am very proud and happy to see that all of the members are now talking about finding a compromise here that can work for everyone. So, I think the members of Council that were not on the side of the three coming to the table to do this. I also want to say this, you know, the City Manager took a lot of heat, some of which was misdirected. We asked for recommendations every two weeks. A proposal on the agenda is placed before us with recommendations by the City Manager and we come to these meetings and we sit here sometimes for 40 minutes and sometimes for four hours and we vote every one of those recommendations that the City Manager gives to us up or down. You just saw that process play itself out all the way to where we're at right now. When we asked the City Manager for a recommendation it's our decision as the policy makers to vote it up or down. This Council voted for fire fee, the majority of this Council voted for fire fee. That said, there's a lot of angst in the community that's directed towards the City Manager as if he made this happen by himself. He made a recommendation, Council embraced it and that is what we pay him to do, run the City, make recommendations, and carry out the policies that we as the legislators of this community do. So, I want to say publicly that I'm sorry to Mr. Hernandez. I don't fault you for the fire fee, you did your job, you brought it back, you brought a recommendation, and it was what was decided at the time. Now I agree with some of the members of Council that are now saying we didn't have all the information, we didn't have this, and we didn't have that, but that's reflective of us. Just because you bring us a recommendation doesn't mean that we don't have homework. Doesn't mean that we don't have a responsibility to go through all of this and to be quite honest when I first made my choice not to support this, I didn't have all the answers either, I just did not think it was right. $256 for the fire fee to and I've used this example $256 in the fire fee to a house that’s in in some of our more depressed areas where people are struggling for them to pay the same amount as someone who lives around the squares is just, in my opinion, not the right way that we needed to go about doing this. Now we can make all the arguments in the world that the same apparatuses are sent to that fire versus that fire, but if you ask a millionaire to pay $256 versus someone who's trying to pay for their prescriptions to pay $256, there's a big difference. We can all debate whether it's their choices and their consequences and everything else I just did not feel it was fair. Also, I don't feel it's fair to take for example, Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD just announced that they are turning a One West Victory into housing for the college. That property, if I'm correct, is coming off of the tax rosters, so that will be diluted by all of the people that are paying taxes in the community. Brian brings up a very good point, Alderman Foster 19,000, is that correct, Brian? [Alderman Foster agreed] 19,000 properties in the City of Savannah are at or near paying no taxes, that’s a serious percentage. I don't know exactly what the percentage is. Is it a third? [Alderman Foster it’s almost a third] about a third of the properties are at or near zero. That is disturbing because that means that the other two have to pay the taxes, so we're going to have to find some way to equal this out. We're going to have to find some way to bring the people that aren't paying to the table and I'm not talking about the poor struggling worker. I'm talking about that there are some successful businesses in this town that charade as a nonprofit that are not assisting us and creating some issues that we have to have conversations with. I do not think that the $256 was the right way for us to go and I think that by joining it with a one mill rollback it looked good, it looked like a nice piece of candy, but at the end of the day it rewarded the people at the top of the chain and punished the people at the bottom and I just could not support that. So, I hope that as we move forward that we move forward together to find a solution that can work for everyone. In April we had a $10 million onetime surplus that we chose not to use any of that money towards the fire fee. We made motions for $5 million, and we made motions for $10 million and they were all rejected. We made a motion to repeal the fire fee in April that was rejected. The only thing adverse about all of this is that we have spent money to begin the implementation of fire fee. We have spent the time in significant resources hosting dozens and dozens of community meetings across this community that took hours of people's time in order to do that. I didn't need a survey from the Chamber to tell me that it was not the right thing to do. If everyone would have went to those meetings you would have heard the people outcry that it was not the right thing to do. I think business plays a big role in this community and we should listen to them, but we should never not put ourselves in a position that they are the only influencers of our policy and decisions that we make up here. So, I listened to my constituents, my constituents did not want this fire fee, my churches did not want this fire fee, my businesses did not want this fire fee. So, that's where my position on this is. So, where we go today, I know we still have a lot of discussion to go over on the different options that we have placed here. But I do want to say thank you to the City Manager for one taking the heat. I have 45 Mark Streeter cartoons, I think you have one now. So, hang tough, but we've got to do what we got to do. I also want to thank the Mayor, because it's never easy when we all have to come back and get in this position, but I think that this could be a good moment for this Council to work together and I hope that that's what we end up doing and I hope we end up doing what's right for the people and what makes the biggest difference to the people that need it the most. Thank you.

Alderman Johnson: I certainly want to echo some of the comments from Alderman Thomas. I want to thank members of Council for finally listening. My reality was I didn't have to hear from large businesses, I heard from the smallest of small businesses, households, churches, mosques, synagogues, citizens from the south, from the west, and the east, working folk, retired folk, impoverished folk, students, City employees, and everyone else. This fee when all practicality was a regressive tax because simply put, it affected some folks more than others and that's what it's always been and my position on that has never changed. We have 5,800 entities in our community that do not pay taxes, but yet can have to utilize City taxes. There has to be a more equitable way to be able to look at the enhancements that they add to our vitality but yet also finding a way of having them paid for some of the services that they use and some of them are preventive services. I mean, maybe we, Tony, talked about going to the legislature, maybe we need to consider having a voluntary opt in to a subscription service, which would be less than the fire fee, but you know, again, helps us to, to address some of those needs. No one likes raising taxes, so to hear Brian Foster say that he would support a tax increase is a Damascus moment for me because that's something that I just would never expect that I'd be here Alderman Brian Foster say but he said it so, I mean, I'm just wondering if it's going to be 150 degrees outside today. But I think he agrees nobody likes raising taxes, but our millage rate as it is, is just not sustainable. If you look around, everyone is raising taxes around us. The costs of the services that we provide are going up. We want to provide for our citizens, they expect the best in everything, the best trained employees, best in equipment, yet that comes with a cost at a rate that rises every day and we have to find a way to be able to pay for that, and that is a challenge that we're faced with dealing with every day. I particularly want to thank the staff and City Manager, and Melissa because I think our staff has been on this rollercoaster ride and sometimes when you're in the back of the roller coaster, you actually get more of a headache than if you're the front of the rollercoaster. So with our changes in direction, our staff has shown their ability to be flexible, and really have great patience and hopefully to not say some of the things that they were thinking about us because every day seemed like doing something else. I know that it must have included some very, very long nights, some late night conversations, certainly some weekend work and Mr. City Manager once this is done, I'm hoping that we find ways for those staff that were involved in those things for us to be able to help take care of them, because we need them and we don't need burned out folks. So I'll trust that you will find ways to be able to reinvigorate them. Finally, and most importantly, and I think this needs to be said, we have landlords that I'm familiar with, a lot of in my district, that raised rents in January because they anticipated the fire fee. People were calling me saying my landlord said I'm sorry but I have to raise your rent. I'm saying to them publicly if this goes away, do the right thing and reduce those fees back, reduce the rent back to what it was. I mean it's unfair and it's unconscionable to me that someone would turn around and say that I'm going to raise your rent based on a fire fee that no longer exist. Now, if you're raising it for different reasons that's on you, but you know, ultimately, hopefully this goes away, it will hurt a little bit, but hurting a little bit is a whole lot different than hurting a whole lot. And I think in this situation, we're opting to hurt a little bit as opposed to a whole lot. So again, thank you all.

Alderman Durrence: A couple of points, one the attacks on the City Manager are way out of line, they're entirely inappropriate and they're an example of the kind of willful ignorance in our community that demands high levels of services without any understanding of what the cost of those services are. We hired this man to come here and analyze our situation, give us his professional expertise and make recommendations or at minimum give us options for how to solve some of the problems we've got, and that's exactly what he's done. If anybody's got any argument with the solutions, we chose your arguments with the nine people sitting up here because we made the decision. Alderman Foster mentioned the equity issue in terms of the high fees that were going to wind up being charged to some of the businesses in the community. I take his point on that, and I have no argument with that, but I think there is another equity issue that several people have mentioned already. It's not just the 5,800 tax exempt properties in the community that contribute nothing to the services here though. It's also that approximately 19,000 total properties that pay little or nothing, a third of this community is not helping pay for the services that they get. I understand some of those folks are in pretty dire straits. It would be difficult for them to make a contribution, but when we've got two thirds of the community having to carry the load for everybody, there's a problem and there's going to be a bigger problem because if we do nothing different from now on, it's still going to cost us more money because everything goes up, just like in our personal budgets and our personal lives, we're going to be paying more for the same thing. If we're going to provide the additional services people are asking for, it's going to cost even more money. I agree with Alderman Foster. I hope that a millage increase at this point is a temporary thing that we're able to bring it back down and maybe something will happen that can make that possible, but I'm frankly not optimistic because as long as that 65 percent of the community has to cover the increasing cost of operating the City, I don't see it being able to come down. The thing that we have discovered, in the City Manager's analysis of our situation, for the first time that I know of someone took a long range look at our budget, the five year look at our budget and has pointed out a number of structural deficiencies in it. We keep talking about getting through this year, but we've got longer term issues that we have to deal with and we have to get through this right now, but we have to quit just putting out fires. We've got to start addressing longer range issues and we have some serious long range issues and affording the things that we need to do in this community. We've got something that many people have heard me say over and over again. We've got 760 miles of paved streets and roads in this community and right now we're able to resurface about 11 miles a year. I mentioned a $500,000 analysis of something the other day and somebody said, don't do an analysis just use that money to pave all your bad streets. Five hundred thousand dollars will give us about two miles of road resurfacing. I don't think people understand what stuff costs. That's going to continue to be a problem. I want to just say I appreciate the City Manager's efforts on this. I know it must be very frustrating. We've got issues that we have to deal with and I hope that this begins solving some of the problems, but one of the things, and this is something that Tony and Van have both mentioned, one of the things that we have got to do is look for ways that that other third of the community can start contributing to help cover the cost of what it's going to take to take care of this community.

Alderman Miller: People tend to forget in October 2017 we were not in exactly the same shape we're in now. We were in danger of not even being able to fund the changes to the police department that we had demerged the police department to get. Thankfully things have changed and a lot of people predicted that they would change. We have more revenue coming in than what we expected, but nowhere near the $10 million additional revenue that we were told was coming, so it took us awhile to figure out how to get to this. Those people who think we paid attention and I do appreciate the fact that the organization like the Chamber and the TLC and others joined in, but don't think that we didn't pay just as much attention to the grandmother who said I'm on a fixed income and I don't know where I will find the money. Those are things we had to take into consideration. The difference between where we were and where we are now is that we have a plan to get there. I really hoped, and by the way we did go through an awful lot of meetings, we talked to an awful lot of people and we took an awful lot of comments, but in my mind that's a good thing. It gave us a chance to get out and meet an awful lot of people that we don't hear from. I'm glad we did that. Sorry we had to do it, but I'm glad we did that. Glad we're at the point we are. I really wanted to do this without a tax increase, but I don't like the City that we would have to live in if we don't do something. I was hoping we could get it under, at least under a mill and I made that recommendation, but I'll leave that up to the City Manager. I remember talking to Mr. Sydney Johnson who lives on Waters Avenue yesterday, we bumped into him at one of the seminars we were at for homelessness. He was very excited that we're thinking about not doing the fire fee and I said but it might kill us on the Waters Avenue project and he was like, oh Lord. It's interesting that since we've now talked about not having the fire fee, the calls coming into my house and emails have changed from let's don't have the fire fee to okay when are you going to cut the grass? When are you going to do this? How about they're actually a significant number of people who've asked me to come up with a City Archeology Department to study all the lots before we build on it, which I think would be a marvelous thing to do if we had that kind of money, but we don't have that kind of money, but we have to go forward. We cannot allow this City to disintegrate and that's what was happening in the past. We're moving forward so I applaud the recommendations brought by the City Manager and the recommendations of Mr. Foster and all the help of all the people here. I move that we approve and adopt Option D, I'd like to see it down to 13.4 mills, but if we have to go to 13.48 so be it.

[Alderman Foster seconded the motion]

Alderwoman Shabazz: My comments to this is that I want to since we last had our City Council meeting, the six Council persons were for this fire fee and three of them, which I was one of those three, who opposed this fire fee from the beginning. I want to thank my colleagues for our conversations at our retreat and everybody seeing that we did not need to have this fire fee. First I want to thank the City Manager for walking with me along with his staff as I have been for the past three years or so with Town Hall meetings in the Fifth District, but on this particular focus, walking with me for almost seven weeks as we traveled the district and covered every point of the district taking this issue to the people. The people's voice was loud and clear to me as I made the decision of opposing the fire fee. So, I too thank our Mayor for coming back with his comments before we met at the retreat. As we are to this point of this, at this point where we are now, there's been a whole lot of work since Monday night that has gone into us talking about options and I want to thank those persons. Ms. Carter and the City Manager and everybody else who has stayed up all night long for the last few nights and bringing the documents that we have in front of us on today, so thank you all so much for working so hard for our citizens in the community. I do not think that I would say increasing the millage rate would be something that would come out of my mouth, but in my district we still have lots and lots of ditches, and in my district we have a number of medians and in my district our right of ways are still filled with grass and it grows very, very quickly. My constituents have been calling for years in reference to making sure that the grass is cut in our community. That's one of the items that we've got to have to remain in our budget. There's another one in reference to flooding in my district. There are very low lines from the Springfield Canal that we are working on with the City Manager to eliminate some of the flooding areas. We cannot take off out of our budget the storm water system improvements that is coming forward. Some of the steps that will help to begin to eliminate some of the storm water flooding that happens in my area. One of the other items was eliminating the Office of Business Opportunity, that subject that we were talking about in item number 18 can't do away with it, it’s too important to our community. So there are a number of items, the closing of municipal swimming pools and the eliminating of the extended hours for the community centers. I mean those are initiatives that I personally brought to the table during our budget preparation for this 2018 budget and I just can't see those things not continuing in our community. So, I've got to agree with this motion that's on the floor with just increasing our millage rate just one mill so that we can continue the quality of service that you expect for us to do in the City of Savannah. Oh, one more thing, Mr. Mayor before the reverend comes up. Mr. City Manager, I made a statement at the retreat, in reference to you staying in the City of Savannah but I haven't heard an answer and I've just been wondering for the last couple of days are you going to stay, I don't know if you want to make it public, but I'm just asking you sir.

[Alderman Miller stated he doesn’t think that’s fair. Alderwoman Shabazz stated he didn’t have to answer she just wanted to make that statement.]

Reverend Dr. Leonard Smalls, Litway Missionary Baptist Church: Mr. Mayor, City Council and administration. There have been statements made that actually I sent my card up late because I started not to speak. I heard what the process would be and I thought that would be sufficient. But both publicly and at this forum, it has been said that those who opposed this initiative were either willfully or willfully ignorant. I take personal umbrage to that for indeed we did oppose it and we're not ignorant at all. We able to read balance sheets, we able to read budgets and we have, and even though sometimes this budget is relatively convoluted, nevertheless, we've been able to work our way through it. Having said that, the budget for the City of Savannah, revenues coming in has consistently increased. We're growing faster than most and better than most when it comes to cities. This process of what some labeled a fee according to the Supreme Court of the United States, it’s not a fee, it’s a tax. Anything that's everyone has to do mandatorily like the mandate on Obamacare and other things was ruled constitutionally to be a tax. It was still constitutional, but because it was everybody had to do it that made it a tax. Now I understand why you wanted to call it a fee because you were going to include nonprofits. Well when you include churches and schools there’s always going to be fall out. Now it's true, the City Manager of course did not do this by himself and to say that he was the only culprit in the matter would be wrong and unfair, but he is the City Manager and we have a City Manager form of government and these were his recommendations. Last time I checked the buck has to stop somewhere and generally it stops at the person who's at the administrative head of a circumstance. Having said all that, I'm very pleased to hear that we will not have a fire fee. I think it would be good that we went back to the 1953 model that we had where it came out of property tax. I think it's more fair and more equitable. Lastly, I heard a lot of people talk about the churches need to pay their share. Well on yesterday, excuse me, the day before yesterday, the Litway Missionary Baptist Church distributed more brown bags to poor people than any other facility in this City. During the Ebola crisis, we had food going to hungry people in Liberia. During the drug crisis in Savannah, we opened resurrection house administrator, which helped turn back the hands of time for so many people who were absolutely lost and since we've had a crime problem, we've spent personally more than $20,000 buying TWIC cards to take people off of minimum wage jobs and put them in access to the waterfront. When anybody works a minimum wage job for more than three or four months and they come to us we find the money to buy them a card that puts them on the riverfront at a minimum of $12 an hour. You change a man's lifestyle, and the money he's able to earn you changed his motivation. He'll want to go to work if you pay him enough, and none of the children, none of the young people that we've helped with TWIC cards has committed a major felony since we started. Now that might be ignorant, but this dog knows how to hunt.

Alderman Foster: Mr. Mayor there’s a motion which I seconded but it was a quasi-motion and so I'd like to make it a little more… what my question is Mr. City Manager… and by the way there's one thing I forgot that I have to say publicly, there were several things printed in the media that I read both in the Savannah Morning News letters and Vox Populi and Connect Savannah that said our City Manager had received a pay increase. I wanted to, well the paper didn't say it, but individuals had written that in and I understand they may have looked at the budget and seen that we gave all employees a two percent cost of living increase so that was in the budget. But Mr. City Manager, have you received a pay increase?

City Manager Hernandez: The only change to my salary I have received since being here is the two percent cost of living increase for fiscal year 2018. I actually declined one for 2017.

Alderman Foster: That's right, you declined to receive an increase last year. So, I just wanted to clarify that there was a cost of living that was for everybody last year. He refused it and I just wanted to put that on the record. But what I would like to ask with the recommendation that I seconded is if we could, if we to 13.40, which is .9 mill can you cover what's in the column? That's only a few hundred thousand dollars.

City Manager Hernandez: We have to cover any scenario.

Alderman Johnson: Would that cover the employee raises, the additional one percent?

City Manager Hernandez: I would say no.

Alderman Johnson: I would like a scenario in which we can do that. We promised that we were.

City Manager Hernandez: The only scenario that will essentially allow us to retain all of those areas that were still targeted to be eliminated or reduced and provide for a one percent cost of living adjustment as you directed, would be Option E or somewhere between Option D and Option E.

Alderman Johnson: Could you do Option E with some sort of enhancements?

Alderman Foster: Alderman Johnson there’s a little bit of confusion here, we have the $600,000 that was allocated from the surplus.

City Manager Hernandez: Correct, $600,000 in a Wage Adjustment Reserve but that’s related to a pay and comp study…

Alderman Foster: Alderman Johnson that is in there.

Alderman Johnson: No, the one percent… well let's back up maybe we’re talking about different things. At the budget time we said we would come back mid-year, we gave a two percent raise, initially it was supposed to be three. We gave two percent and we said we would come back mid-year and give the additional one percent. The $600,000 that the City Manager I believe is referring to, that's already been encumbered. It’s that $600,000 that was supposed to be used for a classification study to fix any inequities within the pay and comp system. Am I correct? So, I guess my point is in this is that we just had this everybody's you know koombaya and talking really about how prices and things go up. Well for our employees things go up as well and if we're going to retain the best employees we can, we publicly said we would come back to this, we will take care of them in July when we mentioned doing that in April. We said we will come back and look at it for July, so we're kind of here. So… was it $600,000 additional?

City Manager Hernandez: $600,000 for the general fund.

Alderman Johnson: From the general fund, right. So, is there some way that that could be added to it because I think that's what I thought you were talking about too.

Alderman Durrence: I want to speak to what Van is saying, just a couple of slight differences. One, we said we would come back during the mid-year budget review when we were doing the budget hearings last year and we agreed to do the two percent and that was, I think that was COLA. I think when we talked during the budget hearings, did we call that two percent a COLA or was it a performance?

City Manager Hernandez: It's basically a COLA

Alderman Durrence: Okay, so we said two percent. We had been looking at three, we said two percent and then we didn't say we would come back and give the one percent at mid-year. We said we would come back and look at it based on mid-year numbers, there was no commitment just except to look at it. When we had the $10 million and we were trying to pay in advance or settle some things that $600,000 initially was discussed as that one percent that we would use for the one percent, but then there were objections to that being done and that's when that $600,000 got shifted from being the one percent COLA to be used for the pay disparity. So however we want to deal with that I'm not making any particular suggestion, but you know, just the framing of the language on that, I think we need to be accurate.

Alderman Foster: The disparity is what I was referring to. You got the information coming that helps you adjust so that’s still being worked on.

Alderman Thomas: First of all, what is the impact to tax payers with a half mill increase rollback and a one mill increase on let’s say $150,000 house?

Melissa Carter, Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Based on a $100,000 home at our current rate of 12.48 the City tax bill would be $499.20. If we were to increase that by half a mill, go from 12.48 to 12.98, that's an increase of $20 for every $100,000 valuation of your home. So, $100,000 home under that scenario their City tax bill will be $519.20. One mill at 13.48 would be an increase of $40 per $100,000 home valuation.

Alderman Thomas: We're talking about a $3.66 a month increase for City services at 12.98. So, basically in essence what we're doing is if we increase it, and I'm just going to use this for example, Option C, if we increase it Option C we're getting rid of the $256 fee and we're raising the millage one point.

Ms. Carter: 12.98 is a $20 increase for every $100,000. At 13.48 it's $40.

Alderman Thomas: I just want to say this, I've been on the Council since 2000 and we have only raised the millage rate one time. We raised it I can't remember, it was not significant. I think it was a half mill increase.

Ms. Carter: It was a half mill Alderman Thomas and that was predicated solely to balance the budget that year.

Alderman Thomas: That's correct and we did it for six months and then when we looked at the financials in six months again, we rolled it back to the original. So, it was a six month increase. So, if we end up doing this, this will be the only the second time in 20 years that this body has raised the millage rate. Now I want you to know that I don't think there's many other boards in this town that can take that kind of credit. The School Board last night raised their millage 2.25 mills. So, we're not talking anything near that I hope.

Alderman Johnson: Mr. Mayor this is a technical question and this is for the City Attorney as well. In the latter part of last year the Council did a variety in that it might be semantics here, but I think it's important a variety of legislative maneuvers to change the Charter to allow a fire fee. At this point, all we're doing is not funding the fire fee. However, because the Charter is changed, then we're just not funding it, which allows Council to some point later on to institute it. From you or the City Manager is it the intention because I was not here on Monday from the Council that they did not want to fund it this year or to eliminate it from their vernacular totally, because there's a difference.

City Manager Hernandez: That’s a good question. What I heard during all the discussions up until this point has been the word repeal.

Alderman Johnson: Correct.

City Manager Hernandez: So, to me repeal means going back in and removing those changes that we have done.

Alderman Johnson: Which would mean we would have to institute a bunch of legislative…

Attorney Stillwell There were two different things. There was a Charter amendment that doesn't implement anything, all it does is it says you were authorized to do this, to implement fees. And I think it varies kind of fees. The other thing was you passed an ordinance to actually implement a fire fee, so what I would suggest you do is just repeal the part about the ordinance that enacts the fire fee and there won't be a fee.

Alderman Johnson: I just want to make sure, because I mean we're saying we’re not funding it but to me there’s a difference between repealing it and not funding it. So, I just want to make sure.

Attorney Stillwell: So, if you just repeal the ordinance that enacts the fire fee, we can take that whole section out of the code of ordinances. It couldn't be reenacted without passing a new ordinance.

[Motion] Upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz and carried the fire fee was repealed.

Alderman Johnson: I guess my point is and I think we're very clear that in terms of local governments here we have not raised millages and I mean if you know, I think a .9 on our end for optics sake, but a 1.0 for them is real dollars and there's things that they might have that we can do that we would not have been able to do at the .9 so, I'm saying if we're going to raise it let’s just go ahead and raise it to one.

Alderman Foster: That's 10 percent less. I want it as low as we can get it and still fund what's in this column and I believe that that works.

Alderman Thomas: But I would like to add to your amended motion another amendment and I would like that to be an agreement by this Council and staff that in six months any increase that we raised the millage by that we will look and if our monetary situation allows, we will roll that millage back.

[Several Council members were talking at once in disagreement]

Alderman Thomas: Well, I mean, you know we didn't know $10 million was going to come in last year.

Alderman Miller: We have been asked to show leadership in this thing and see how close you can get to living within your means. I think it means something at a time when other organizations are raising taxes and we came in less than a mill. I think it says something and it says that, okay we heard you. And that's the whole point of this exercise with listening to our people and that’s the reason why I proposed the nine tenths of a mill.

[Vote] To increase the millage rate to 13.40 which is a .90 increase. The motion passed unanimously.

City Manager Hernandez: We will bring you back a revised budget based on 13.40 mills and taking into account what I think Alderman Johnson is about to introduce.

[Motion and vote] Upon motion of Alderman Johnson, seconded by Alderwoman Shabazz and unanimously carried Council by consensus directed the City Manager and the City Attorney to come back with language in two weeks on first and second reading to repeal the fire fee in its entirety.

Alderman Thomas: I just want to put it in there and Mr. Mayor and to the Manager the one thing that we funded was that we are on a two week cycle for cuttings and medians. Look at your chart because I don't want there to be any misconception. I want Mr. Lloyd to hear this too.

City Manager Hernandez: At 13.40 I will consider that and bring it back when I present you with the budget.

Alderman Thomas: Well then strike my support of this. Strike my support, if that doesn't come back in this budget, I will not vote for that.

Alderwoman Shabazz: What are you saying Mr. City Manager you're changing the schedule for the cutting of the grass?

Mayor DeLoach: You can't cut grass based on whether it's every 14 days. You base it on whether it's raining, and whether it's growing. There’s a whole lot of things in there that quantify that issue. It's not true. It isn't just about 30 centimeters. I might have an idea about that, but let me tell you.

City Manager Hernandez: Let me just say this, the budget will not include any additional reductions in services. We committed to two weeks in the medians and based on 13.40 mills I will bring you back a budget that keeps that commitment.

Alderman Thomas: Okay then put me back on. You got me back on.

37. Motion to Approve Revocable Short-Term License to Use 4801 Meding Street (Former Fairgrounds).
Map of Cirque Italia Exhibit A 2018.pdf
Cirque Italia - 2018 License Agreement.pdf
Exhibit A--Cirque Italia.pdf

Alderwoman Shabazz: The Cirque Entertainment, LLC is going to come and do a temporary lease of the old fairgrounds, which is the City's property. Now we will be adding an $8,000 fee to our City budget from that rental, that temporary rental of the fairgrounds. They'll be out there for a short period of time for nine days from June the 25th through July 3rd.

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Shabazz, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager's recommendation.

38. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement with Savannah Economic Development Authority for Savannah Manufacturing Center
SEDA WS Agreement.pdf

Alderman Miller: Mr. City Manager, can you kind of walk us through what we're saying here, it's a complicated document.

City Manager Hernandez: It's not really a complicated document because you have done this type of agreement in the past. You approve water and sewer agreements all along. In this particular transaction and I will also ask the City Attorney to help out if he feels I need a little bit of help. We have SEDA which is taking a large development project in District Five to create a manufacturing center, and so essentially SEDA is going to upfront the cost of extending water and sewer service to that particular site. The City will be responsible for paying the difference in upsizing the system, meaning SEDA knows the requirements it needs for its water and sewer lines. We know our requirements and so we're asking SEDA to go ahead and build a larger system than they need and then we are on the hook to pay for the difference in the size of the system. We're upsizing the system and then in turn we will recoup our costs over time from the tapping and fees that you were approved earlier today.

City Attorney Stillwell: It’s actually a better deal than that. Normally how our deals work is if, let's say it costs $1 million and we're going to pay half of it, they would do the $1 million, we would then reimburse them for the $500,000 out of the Water and Sewer fund. In this case, SEDA is going to front all the money to do this and they're going to pay us back with credits against future tap in fees so we're not going to have to put the money up at all initially.

Alderman Shabazz: Mr. Mayor, I want to explain to the public what we're talking about, which is a fantastic thing that's going on. The Savannah Economic Development Authority has purchased 631 acres of track in the southwest quadrant of the Fifth District near I-16 and I-95 for the purpose of constructing and operating a manufacturing center. This center is projected, and this is very, very important information, this center is projected to create over 2,000 jobs and generate $500 million dollars in total investment over the next several years.

Approved upon motion of Alderwoman Shabazz, seconded by Alderman Miller, and unanimously carried per the City Manager’s recommendation.

39. Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Authorities

Upon motion of Alderman Durrence, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and unanimously carried the below individuals were appointed to the following boards, commissions and authorities.

Aging Services Advisory Board - 2 (two) Terms

  • Dr. Daniel Brantley
  • Doris Cope

Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) - 1 (one) Unexpired Term - Term ends July 1, 2020

  • Clinton Edminster

Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee - 2 (two) Council members or their designee

  • Alderman Bill Durrence
  • Alderwoman Estella Shabazz

Cultural Affairs Commission - 1 (one) Unexpired Term - Term ends December 31, 2020

  • Kristopher Monroe

Economic Opportunity Authority (EOA) - 1 (one) Unexpired Term - Term ends December 31, 2021

  • Dr. Tamika M. Wright

Greater Savannah International Alliance (GSIA) - 3 (three) TERMS

  • Andriana DeOliveira
  • James Hall
  • Alfonso Ribot

Historic Preservation Advisory Council - 1 (one) TERM

  • Emily Forlenza

Keep Savannah Beautiful - 18 (eighteen) Terms

  • Hallie Mobley Anderegg
  • LaToya Brannen
  • Tarcia Bush
  • Emily Forlenza
  • Nelson Gassman
  • Pauline Haywood
  • Lewis (Roy) Hill
  • Robert Hunter
  • Marysue McCarthy
  • Trish McLeod
  • Pamela Miller
  • Jamie Parks
  • Tammy Perkins
  • Birgit Reiff
  • Claire Sandow
  • Jeanine Thompson
  • Joe Wenum
  • Deion Williams

Savannah Recreation Commission - 1 (one) Term

  • LaQuanda Pridgen-Brown 

Traffic Calming Committee 

  • Mayor appointee
    • James (Mickey) Rountree, Jr.
  • At Large Post 1 appointee
    • Nelson Gassman
  • District 2 appointee
    • Christopher Ryba

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) - 1 (one) Unexpired Term - Term ends December 31, 2019

  • Neil Dawson

Upon motion of Alderwoman Shabazz, seconded by Alderwoman Bell, and carried Randy Houston was appointed to the Savannah Airport Commission with the following voting in favor: Mayor DeLoach, Aldermen Bell, Miller, Johnson, Thomas, Hall, and Shabazz. Aldermen Foster and Durrence voted against.


Alderwoman Bell announced that the AKAs were recognizing the Alzheimer Association with the tribute “The Longest Day” today.  From 9:30 to 11:30 they visited with residents of Insignia Memory Care of Savannah on White Bluff.  From 12:30 to 2:30 they had The Longest Lunch at Carey Hilliard’s. And tonight at 6:30 they will have the Purple Balloon Launch at Lake Mayer.

There being no further business, Mayor DeLoach declared this meeting of Council adjourned.

The video recording of the Council meeting can be found by copying and pasting the below link in your url:


Luciana M. Spracher, Acting Clerk of Council
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