SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Last week as I asked you to consider the threat to Savannah's Historic District Landmark distinction. I mentioned that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Well, this week I'm here to fall on my sword.
My thoughts last week were based solely on information released by the City of Savannah's Public Information Office. I have since learned that much of that information was at best factually ambiguous and at worst, flat out wrong.
Savannah is not now, nor has been for the past 12 years, on the National Park Service's priority one threatened list and the likelihood of that happening again soon appears extremely remote. The information released by the city a couple of weeks ago was based on a third-party survey commissioned by the park service.
The findings of that survey were based on less than 30 respondents… that's 30 people out of a population base of more than 270,000 residents. Hardly statistically valid.
But that wasn't the only issue with my remarks. In broadcasting, when it comes to writing, I preach you must be clear and concise. Well in my effort to be concise I wasn't very clear. So, let me say with great clarity, we must protect both our historic district as well as our thriving tourism business. We absolutely need both to survive.
Consider this: tourism is the fuel that fires our economic engine. It's a two and a half billion dollar industry that supplies more than 27,000 jobs and generates nearly $900 million in revenue for the City of Savannah alone.
While there are many reasons to come and visit Savannah, none is more important than our historic charm. It's our gift the world, a gift we must share with as many people as we can.