In just three weeks, voters will decide who will be the next mayor of Savannah. WTOC is committed to keeping you informed on who's running with our series of candidate profiles each Tuesday, in randomly selected order. Today we spoke with Dr. Otis Johnson about how he feels he can make his native city an even better place for everyone.
"I see this as an opportunity to provide leadership and I've provided leadership in this community for more than 30 years," he said.
Dr. Johnson announced his candidacy for mayor of Savannah in January. But this isn't his first run at public office. Dr. Johnson served five years on city council in the mid '80s. He decided not to run for another term after he won a grant to start up the Youth Futures Authority in Savannah. Dr. Johnson went back into politics in January of '93, when he was elected to the Savannah-Chatham Board of Education. He served until the end of his term in December. Days later, he announced he was running for mayor.
"My combination of training and experience, my education and my years of experience make me unique to this community," he said. "I would like to use that uniqueness to serve the overall interests of this community."
More neighborhood involvement and economic development are two things Dr. Johnson really feels Savannah needs. "If you don't have workforce that can employ the people here, then you'll continue to house crime and other problems," he said.
Dr. Johnson says he'll take a balanced approach in fixing Savannah's problems. He says he'll make light of the good while taking on the challenges. "We've got all the right things," he said. "We've got to get the right attitude working with the right people and Savannah can be one of the best cities in the country."
Dr. Otis Johnson also recently retired as Savannah State University's dean of liberal arts and sciences, where he taught for more than three decades.