Savannah residents meet with city, county leaders - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah residents meet with city, county leaders

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Addressing community concerns in a more intimate setting is what a Savannah Town Hall meeting was all about Tuesday night. 

The meeting was held for residents and their elected officials in the Chatham Crescent and Ardsley Park neighborhoods. Those taking questions were Savannah's Fourth District Alderman, Julian Miller, and First District Chatham County Commissioner, Helen Stone. 

Questions were compiled and presented to the elected representatives, from traffic calming to the demerger of the police department and what it means for public safety. 

"There's a disconnect right now. I think there's a sense in the community that you should be enforcing the city ordinance against the STVRs here."

Leading the discussion and taking up a good portion of the night's talks were short-term vacation rental properties and regulation of those businesses, and what to do if one is operating illegally in the neighborhood.

"What do you say if a constituent says, 'Julian, the house two doors down is an illegal STVR, what should I do,' said moderator, Jim Morekis. 

"We have a wonderful service here called 311. Call 311 and report it," Alderman Miller said. 

Police chimed in on traffic calming concerns along the 52nd Street corridor and others. Central Precinct Captain Ben Herron says because traffic remains one of the top issues at neighborhood meetings, he's assigned two officers to focus on cracking down on speeders. 

"In the past two weeks that they've been doing this, they've written 170 tickets," said Captain Herron. 

To the matter of the police demerger, both Miller and Stone assured the crowd that the city and county parting ways is a certainty. The question was posed as to whether city residents' taxes would go up to accommodate aspects of the restructuring. Alderman Miller says he doesn't believe that will happen. Miller added overall, a city department will cost less than a merged department. Overall, the information shared seemed to leave the crowd satisfied. 

"We found it very informative, very helpful to have both the alderman and the county commissioner here, getting their different perspectives on different things going on in the neighborhood. Very enlightening," said Nan Taylor, Ardsley Park resident. 

Alderman Miller says he wasn't surprised to hear the variety of topics on the minds of residents - even saying he expected a few more like drainage concerns and park maintenance. 

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