MAY 11, 2023, 12:00 p.m. -  WORKSHOP and CITY MANAGER'S BRIEFING






The work session and City Manager’s briefing was held at 12:00 p.m. Vice Chairman Nick Palumbo called the meeting to order and recognized Alderman Leggett to offer a prayer.



Mayor Van R. Johnson, II, Presiding

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

Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely, At-Large, Post 2

Alderwoman Bernetta B. Lanier, District 1

Alderman Detric Leggett, District  2

Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3

Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4, Vice-Chairman

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

Alderman Kurtis Purtee, District 6


Assistant City Manager Heath Lloyd

Chief of Staff Daphanie Williams

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Deputy Clerk of Council Margaret Fox


Assistant City Manager Lloyd exercised a point of personal privilege to honor and recognize Savannah Police Sgt. Kelvin Bernard Ansari who died in the line of duty four years ago, and he requested a moment of silence.

Workshop Agenda Items
1. 100 Days of Summer
Exhibit 1: 100 Days of Summer Fun and Safety 2023.pdf

PRESENTED by Assistant City Manager Lloyd, Chief Community Services Officer Taffanye Young, Police Major Shinita Young, Police Lt. Timothy Lewis, ONES Director John Bush, Assistant Fire Chief William Handy, Cultural Resources Program Manager Jenna Ward, Human Services Director Kerri Reid, Recreation & Leisure Services Acting Director Nick Roberts, and Marketing & Communication Services Director Nick Zoller.

Following the presentation, questions and comments from members of the City Council were discussed:

  • Mayor Johnson expressed his concern that the residents of the City of Savannah have priority for their children as it relates to the summer activities.  The summer programs are paid for with taxpayer dollars and the children residing in the City should have priority.  Assistant City Manager Lloyd and Chief Young outlined the application and screening process which provides the residents of the City priority.  Non-residents may apply after a specific time and pay an additional amount to be included in the programs.
  • Alderwoman Wilder-Bryan expressed her interest in clergy participation; sharing program information with the public; transportation to programs; including pickle ball and golf; cooking programs; and the Reconnect program in  Savannah locations.  All concerns were answered and explained by John Bush, Nick Zoller, Chief Young, Nick Roberts and Kerri Reid.
  • Alderman Leggett asked if movie night and a fishing program will be offered this year, yes.  Alderman Leggett asked Lt. Lewis to discuss the programs at Savannah Impact and asked Assistant Fire Chief Handy if the Explorer Program communicated with the School Board to create a ROTC type program.  No ROTC program has been considered, but will be investigated.  Alderman Leggett asked how the youth receive payments, by check or through parents.  Checks are made out to the youth after parents verify means of cashing the checks or a debit payroll card can be utilized, answered Chief Young.
  • Mayor Johnson asked what provisions the City made for families who cannot afford the fees.  Chief Young stated for those students with reduced/free lunch costs, the fee is reduced 75% and 50% respectively; local agencies are also solicited for assistance.  Assistant City Manager Lloyd and Chief Young will look at ways to establish a waiver.
  • Alderwoman Lanier asked if Midnight Basketball is the same as the City's Summer Night Lights program.  Mr. Bush answered, no, but Savannah is working toward getting a Midnight Basketball Chapter.  She asked which churches are involved in the summer program; First African Baptist and Second Bethlehem Baptist.  Alderwoman Lanier expressed concern that transportation was not provided to the programs; Mr. Bush stated conversation with CAT are on-going for a partnership to secure transportation.  Alderwoman Lanier asked if Manpower will participate as a partner this year due to prior problems; Mr. Bush answered the problems were solved and youth will be able to cash payroll checks.  At the request of Alderwoman Lanier, Assistant Fire Chief Handy explained the process of enrolling female youth in the Camp Ignite Program and Ms. Reid detailed how the Moses Jackson Center programs were chosen.  Alderwoman Lanier recommended the West African cultural being incorporated, given the heritage of many participants.
  • Alderwoman Gibson-Carter recommended local sources for recruiting girls to Assistant Fire Chief Handy.  She expressed concern for the facilities being completed in time for the summer programs and if there are any shortages of staff; Mr. Roberts indicated all facilities are completed and no shortages of staff exist for the programs.  Alderwoman Gibson-Carter recommended hiring college students for the summer programs and incorporating education about the Weeping Time history.
  • Alderwoman Miller Blakely expressed concern as it relates to gun violence and youth.  Mr. Bush detailed the 70 youth jobs program for the summer as requested by Alderwoman Miller Blakely.  She asked for the cost of the cultural arts program; Ms. Ward outlined the different cost for each session and the associated available waivers.  Alderwoman Miller Blakely discussed and/or offered recommendations for various programs:  summer lunches in the park, movies in the park, reinstating the Summer 500 Program, and offering a life skills program for the youths.  A financial literacy program for youth is being negotiated and Alderwoman Miller Blakely will share the information with Chief Young when finalized.
  • Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz recommended adding District 5 in the community engagement programs.  She expressed concern that Tompkins and Liberty City Community Centers were not utilized for The Summer Night Lights program; Mr. Bush indicated the City does not have the capacity to open more than two centers for the summer programs, but they are open to everyone in the City.  Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Shabazz thanked staff for including lunches/food in the summer programs and for increasing female participation in the fire department programs.  She acknowledged that all the programs are open to all citizens and all districts.                 


The PowerPoint presentation is on file and available for viewing in the Clerk of Council's office.

Mayor Johnson adjourned the Workshop at 1:39 p.m.


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




Mark Massey, Clerk of Council


Date Minutes Approved:     May 25, 2023 


Signature:    MM  

Agenda Plus