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Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 12:25pm

Savannah City Manager Resigns

Savannah's City Manager says she'll be out of her office in five days.

The coastal city's top administrator gave her resignation Thursday after losing support on City Council.

The elected council was on the verge of terminating Rochelle Small-Toney when she delivered her resignation.

And while publicly, neither she nor Mayor Edna Jackson are talking about why she's leaving, City Hall has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations of sloppy city purchases and a more dire than expected budget.

Some council members questioned her handling of the 2013 budget and a recent backlog of millions of dollars in city purchases.

But others defended her.

Mayor Edna Jackson says the 6-3 vote was business-like.

"What the council showed is that we had differences, but we were not disagreeable," Jackson says, "We were still able to work together."

Council approved an audit of Small-Toney's office, calling it routine.

Jackson says she isn't in a hurry to replace Small-Toney, whose defenders rallied to her aide this week.

"We as a council will decide what we need to do as far as a search," Jackson says, "That is nothing that is immediately on our plate. We just want to make sure that we are moving forward."

The city now will be run by an interim manager, Assistant City Manager Stephanie Cutter, who says she doesn't want the job permanently.

"This is temporary for me," Cutter says. "I'll do the very best that I can to make our elected officials and the citizens of Savannah proud."

Cutter has had experience in city government in various positions.

She says she felt "blessed" to step up to Interim City Manager and promised to address concerning issues.

"It's not just a purchasing issue but a citywide issue," Cutter says, "Now we are working and communicating, talking to ensure that purchase orders and requisitions don't sit for extended periods of time. We have some seasoned employees back, which is a great thing, and we're going to move forward."

Small-Toney will get an exit package of six month's pay.