Savannah’s Post 2 At-Large candidates speak at forum

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:07 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah city council candidates facing off Thursday in one of the first debates of the election season.

Candidates for the Post 2 At-Large seat spoke at the Savannah Convention Center on Thursday.

The race pits incumbent Alicia Miller Blakely against challenger and former educator Patrick Rossiter.

The two were asked about a slew of topics including tourism growth, ongoing staffing shortages at the Savannah Police Department, and historic preservation.

The rapid-fire format drew some distinctions between both candidates especially when asked about civility of city council members.

Over the last year, WTOC has reported on some contentious moments during Savannah city council’s Thursday meetings.

Blakely summarized a Bible quote to highlight efforts to promote transparency of city government while Rossiter said this issue was one of the main reasons he joined the race.

“Matthew 21 verses 12-17 says that Christ went into the temple and turned the tables over because of the corruption. That’s no more than what we’re doing downtown, is letting individuals know what’s going on with their tax dollars and what’s happening under that gold dome,” said Blakely.

“Savannah does not need to be seen as the place where you can turn on the Thursday night TV and see a reality show where bickering and fighting and screaming is going on. Treating people in a respectable manner is critical,” said Rossiter.

Whoever wins this seat will be one of two At-Large councilmembers representing all of Savannah rather than one district.