Candidates across the state are heading to their local elections offices this week to qualify for municipal elections. Voting day is November 8th. But candidates have until Friday to get in their paperwork to make their runs official. In Savannah, the race for mayor has been slow to heat up. That might be because so many candidates are running.
Although Census poverty numbers won't be out until later this year, the Bureau's statistical surveys suggest officials won't be happy. After spending millions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, Savannah's three-decade-old 22% poverty rate could remain unchanged or increase, according to a Bureau statistical analysis. Officials already have answers.
Savannah City Council got a lesson in open government from Georgia's top prosecutor. State Attorney General Sam Olens says, he doesn't want to take elected officials to court, but violations of Georgia's sunshine laws are occurring far too frequently. He was in Savannah because the council violated the law three times.
Savannah is expected to get its first African-American city manager after a bitter, months-long fight. The search for a new city manager intensified racial divisions as white and black council members exchanged bitter accusations that spun out into the community. One black council member said that a racially-divided vote would be "the nuclear option."
In a pair of 5-4 votes, Savannah City Council members showed that they remain bitterly divided over who should become the city's next chief executive. The split has exposed racial tensions in the city. The votes also present no clear path forward for resolving a long-simmering issue.
Savannah officials are in Atlanta to lobby state lawmakers for coastal projects. But along with them is an ugly rift. Savannah City Council divided along racial lines in a vote to name two finalists for the city's chief executive job.
A much-debated ban on smoking in virtually all public indoor places will go into effect in Savannah with the new year. Mayor Otis Johnson pushed for the measure as part of a health campaing. Bar employees complained about the proposal when it first came up but now are adapting to the ordinance.
A US Army Corps of Engineers official says, the agency is likely to extend the public comment period on the Savannah harbor deepening project. Some environmental groups and others have said the public comment window was too short given the immense size of the report and its technical difficulty. The official said an extension should be announced this week.
Only a handful of Georgia cities ban smoking at all bars and restaurants. The City currently follows state law and allows smoking at bars if they don't hire minors. Restaurants must have separate smoking sections.