Savannah City Council Delays Merger Vote

Less than a week ago, the Chatham County Commission voted to merge the city and county police departments. Today, it was up to city council to approve the move. But council members decided to hold off on their decision. The merger came up in the city council pre-meeting. That's when council members decided it was best to wait on making a final decision.

All the major players were at the pre-meeting. The topic most on their minds was the police merger with the county. The only person missing was alderman Ellis Cook who was rushing back from the Georgia Municipal Association meeting. After a very brief discussion, council decided to wait and give the county's seven-one decision a little more time to sink in.

"I'm concerned with hiring a chief of police for the county one day and the next day voting for a merger," said council member David Jones. "These things, something's seriously screwed up here, that's my opinion."

Mayor Adams has his own sticking points. "One of my concerns is with the transition period, when it is implemented, when an agreement is signed, how can we implement it right away?"

Toward the end of the meeting, Ellis Cook returned from Atlanta and said he was ready to vote. "I think everyone has had sufficient time to look over it, and I think it's a good compromise and I look forward to passing it at the next meeting," he said.

And despite his concerns, Alderman Jones says he thinks the merger will pass. "I think it will, I think it will, I'll even vote for it," he said.

One of the issues each alderman brought up was the fact that the officers themselves need to know more about the merger before they vote, but they do plan on making a final decision at their next meeting on October 16.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro,