City Council discusses budget, customer service

Published: Nov. 13, 2014 at 1:09 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2014 at 1:09 AM EST
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Are you getting your money's worth for your tax dollar in Savannah?

It's a question that was being asked at Savannah's City Council Budget Retreet on St. Simons Island.

Are Savannahians getting their money's worth for their tax dollars?

“In my opinion, yes. And more,” said District 3 Alderman John Hall.

It's an opinion shared by the mayor and other members of city council. What is the city's budget this year? $347.5 million, money that comes from property taxes, sales taxes and water and sewer bills.

“Here we are in 2015, why can't we pay our water bill online?” said District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas.

It's issues like these that has led the city to create a new customer service initiative. The idea is to shift the culture among the 2,500 city of Savannah employees to put the taxpayers front and center.

“The citizens are not a burden to us or a problem to us,” said Margaret Williams. “They are the reason we do business.”

The city is setting up rate-your-service kiosks in different departments and planning city-wide customer service training.

Thomas though, said he'll believe the city is customer service friendly once he can pay his water bill from his computer.

“We have been saying we're going to do this for years,” he said. “We need to get a lot more friendlier so people don't have to interact when they don't want to interact with people.

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