Savannah business owner calls for city unity

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - After recent racial tensions among Savannah's city council, one Savannah business owner is asking the community to get past the race issue, and move forward.

Last week, Ruel Joyner, owner of 24e furniture store and new president of the Downtown Business Association, helped start a Facebook page asking Mayor Otis Johnson to step down.!/pages/Step-down-Mr-Mayor/147022852021861

While Johnson says he has no plans of resigning, Joyner says the Mayor has caused a racial divide with comments he made during a council meeting last week.

Joyner is now asking all leaders in the black community to unite and join other community leaders.

"Let's get back to business. Lets get the people united. I am calling for any black leaders to please contact me and lets see what we can do to get back to the issues of this. Nobody wants Savannah divided. That's what the mayor wants," Joyner told WTOC.

Joyner points to a number of issues facing the city, including a 60 million dollar underfunded pension plan, a nine million dollar city  budget deficit, a 20 year bond for the Savannah River Landing project on President Street which costs the city one million dollars a year and a 17 million dollar lawsuit against the city for the Ellis Square garage, as well as recent city employee layoffs.

While the Facebook page is now up to 1265 fans, but Joyner says the issue is larger than the Mayor's office.

"This isn't about him. This about the our city. The city I love. The city you love. It's tearing at the fabric. Let's get back to these issues. And I am calling for any and all black leaders to call me. Let's get back to work," Joyner said.

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