The mayor and a majority on council have given appearance of discrimination against the most qualified candidate for city manager because he’s white.
They find themselves in the company of politicians of olden days, who suppressed rights of black citizens, and the judicial system of a northern state, where my 102–year–old mother resides.
It seems the mayor and council let the consultant know they favor one candidate partly because of race, and hoped the consultant would help stack the deck.
Out of the four finalists, one was fired from his position; another forced to retire. Denied a bond for a million dollars required for our city manager, the mayor’s favorite refuses to reveal the reason why because it’s “personal," yet the bond is essential to manage a budget of $220 million.
Although four aldermen reached consensus that Pat DiGiovanni, Deputy City Manager for San Antonio, Texas, was the most qualified because of his long experience as city manager in South Carolina and Kalamazoo, Michigan, the mayor and council narrowed the choice to our assistant manager and the gentleman from Albany.
Tacitly admitting the decision was in good part based on race, the mayor said, “It’s is our turn now”, no matter he is duty bound to hold a legitimate search for the best city manager regardless of race.
Up north where my 102–year–old mother lives, folks who lost their moral codes undertook her exploitation. I was displaced as Mom’s health agent; loving caretakers were fired for reporting mistreatment; and every element of an orderly household was destroyed by chaos and threats.
The courts refused to protect Mom with applicable law in order to protect those with power and influence who were involved.
What happened in Savannah and up north was violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, specifying government may not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Pat DiGiovanni has the right not to be treated unfairly without reference to race in the selection of city manager, as my mother has the right to be protected by law no matter other’s interests that she not be.
Investors and new businesses want to know Savannah’s well managed, not the color of the manager. Investors up North won’t be comfortable with any state where the rule of law is withdrawn with such ease.
If cities and states are to flourish, the weak and strong, white and black, young and vulnerable must be treated equally under the law.
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Thanks for the thorough report!