Savannah city council approves 2020 budget

Savannah city council approves 2020 budget

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Outgoing Savannah city council members are making one of their last but most important decisions, how your tax dollars will be spent next year.

Council set a priority going into this budget process to re-work the city’s salary structure since Savannah was coming in eight to 12 percent lower than other local governments.

That created pay disparities and a exodus of city employees over the span of about a decade that ultimately led to a 13-percent position vacancy rate city-wide.

So this budget, with the guidance of the pay and compensation study, will make the city more competitive with pay.

This budget passes just weeks before a practically brand new council is seated, giving budget staff a chance to meet with and educate the newly elected leaders on some of the nuisances they may not have been aware of.

“The fact that we have so many council members coming in actually excites us," said Chief Budget Officer Melissa Carter. "It’s an opportunity for us to have a well-built audience, new audience almost immediately, just in a matter of a few weeks, that we can continue to talk about and try to answer their questions and also put things into perspective and context.”

There was only one dissenting vote on the motion to adopt the 2020 budget, and that came from Alderwoman Estella Shabazz.

Without specifying, she said there were still some issues that haven’t been resolved, but commended budget staff for their work.

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