Acting city manager becomes Savannah city manager - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cutter becomes first Savannahian named Savannah city manager

Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter is voted in as new city manager. (Source: City of Savannah) Acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter is voted in as new city manager. (Source: City of Savannah)

Savannah has a new city manager, and she is a homegrown Savannah native who has worked for the city for 25 years.

The City Council voted unanimously at Thursday's meeting to hire acting City Manager Stephanie Cutter as the permanent city manager.

Cutter becomes the seventh Savannah city manager and the second woman to hold the position. She is also the second African American to hold be city manager in Savannah.

However, it's the the fact she is the first person born and raised in Savannah to be hired as city manager which makes her ascension history making.

"Ms. Cutter is a visionary. She has brought togetherness back among the staff, the leadership and the City of Savannah," said Mayor Edna Jackson in a statement. 

Back in October 2012, after the forced resignation of former city manager Rochelle Small-Toney, Cutter was named interim city manager. At the time, I asked her if she wanted the permanent job.

"No. This is just a temporary position," she said.

A few months later, he tone changed. "I'd be honored if I was considered," Cutter said in January.

Today, after a not so well-kept secret and an executive session Thursday afternoon, an unanimous vote where council members fought over who would motion to nominate Cutter, instead of over her nomination like two years ago, Mayor Jackson asked Cutter if she was going to accept the position.

"It would be my honor," she told the audience and council.

A few minutes later, she was asked to addres the audience again.

"I promise you, as I work with this entire team, we will do great things for the City of Savannah. I sincerely thank you," Cutter said.  

Cutter said the mood around City Hall was a happy one, and she walked around all day, knowing an ambition she once had when she first entered city hall, but wasn't sure she wanted, was once again not only a realistic goal, but about to happen.

"It was all so amazing. Everyone was so happy. And it made me happy. I was overjoyed to be amid so much happiness," she sad.

In her role, Cutter is the chief executive officer of the city government with almost 2,500 employees and a nearly $300 million annual operating budget. 

"I am honored and humbled by this selection. We can do great things working together," Cutter said in a statement. 

"She has shown us in a short period of time she can lead this city in the direction we need to go," Mayor Jackson told WTOC.

Cutter said she shared the news with her church family, who was in attendance, and her role model and idol, her 83 year-old mother, who could not be at city hall. Her little girl, born and raised in Savannah, is now the city's CEO.

Cutter was appointed acting City Manager in October 2012. Before that she was  Assistant City Manager of Administrative and Community Services since December 2011.  

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