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Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 11:31am

Savannah Official At Crossroads

A vote this week in Savannah could open up old wounds from a bitter debate last year over the city government's chief executive.

City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney faces a potential vote from the people who appointed her.

The elected City Council picks the government's top administrator here.

Last year in a racially divided five to four council vote, Small-Toney became the city's first African-American to get the nod.

Now she appears to have lost a council majority.

The Reverend Leonard Small, no relation, says Mayor Edna Jackson is pushing her out.

"Basically the mayor walked into her office and said 'I now have six votes for your removal. I'd like to have your resignation,'" Small says.

Small suggests the action is racially motivated, even though Jackson is a black woman herself.

"I'm saying emphatically that if she was not the first African-American female city manager, this would not be going on," Small says.

Jackson has questioned Small-Toney's actions in a recent brouhaha over millions of dollars in backlogged city purchases.

If Small-Toney doesn't resign, the Council could vote to remove her Thursday.