Savannah mayor, mayor pro-tem argue over rules of council

Savannah mayor, mayor pro-tem argue over rules of council

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A good portion of Thursday’s Savannah City Council work session was spent not on presentations from outside groups, rather the content of a contentious town hall where a portion of the Rules of Council item on Thursday’s agenda was called into question by some on city council.

The issue at the town hall swirled around rules 19 and 20 of the proposal, which according to the city manager already existed under the old rules, and that dealt with how the mayor supervises officers that council either elects or appoints to various positions in city government, and rules of anonymous communication.

With regard to the Rules of Order, Alderwoman Estella Shabazz said at her town hall meeting Wednesday night that some people are trying to keep others mouths closed, be dictators and all out of order.

Apparently at least one person attending was live streaming the meeting and all that was said. And that video caught the attention of several council members who said they were called out for not coming.

Mayor Van Johnson says he wasn’t even invited, and Alderwoman Estella Shabazz confirmed that, adding that hasn’t kept the mayor from attending her meetings before.

Both addressed the lengthy work shop discussion about the meeting and infighting outside the room.

“I would suggest that folks who have questions in their minds about what took place in the media room today is to go back and look at the entire segment so they can have everything in context,” said Shabazz.

“To me it’s so unnecessary that we are majoring in minor things. This was disruptive. To me it was grossly unfair, particularly since I purposely was not invited to this meeting in which I was talked about. The fact of the matter is, is that we have good people on this council, we just have to get their heads right in terms of being able to address the things that we were sent there to address,” said Johnson.

So what they were there to address, in part, they tabled the rules of council.

The one part of that agenda item that did go through with councils approval was changing the council regular meeting times to alternate between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. beginning with the next meeting on Feb. 27.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.