Savannah mayor hosts virtual State of the City address

Savannah mayor hosts virtual State of the City address

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Mayor Van Johnson delivered a virtual State of the City address on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The mayor spoke via Zoom and you can watch the address in its entirety below.

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Posted by WTOC-TV on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

“When I was sworn-in as the 67th Mayor of Savannah about 10 months ago, our city and our world were very different places. We weren’t talking about COVID-19, masks or unprecedented times," Mayor Van Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson acknowledged that much has changed since he was sworn in. The address streamed online due to the pandemic, beginning with a video highlighting some of the programs he has spearheaded and initiatives for the city.

Mayor Van Johnson addressed what is on the forefront of many people’s minds - Savannah’s COVID-19 response.

“We were the first city in Georgia to mandate masks on July 1, and local health officials credit this order with helping to keep the virus from spreading uncontrollably throughout the summer.”

He also added that the city allocated $3.3 million in CARES Act funding to the United Way, helping nearly 2,000 residents with mortgage, rent and utility bill payments and preventing at least 126 evictions.

Johnson also said that despite the recent string of shootings, this year, violent crime is down one percent and property crime is down 26 percent.

He added that financially, the city is still in a good place, despite the pandemic.

“The city followed a conservative course with its finances and avoided any furloughs or layoffs. The city remains financially strong, maintaining a AA+ Bond Rating, the strongest in Savannah’s history.”

The address also included a City Manager’s report, delivered by Pat Monahan, and ended in a question-and-answer session with residents, which Mayor Johnson said will be published within the next week.

You can read the mayor’s entire speech below:

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