Tuesday, September 29, 2020

City Manager search at an 'impasse' due to divided Council

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 10:25 AM

Mayor Van Johnson this morning announced that despite a national candidate search that resulted in a visit from three qualified candidates for Savannah City Manager this past weekend, the whole process will have to return to square one due to division on City Council.

"At this point the Council could not reach a consensus on a singular candidate, so it appears we are at an impasse. We just couldn't get consensus on one candidate," Johnson said.

"I've sought a unanimous 9-0 vote at best, or an 8-1 vote or 7-2 vote at worst," he said. "Unfortunately we're nowhere near that. I believe this position is far too important.... for us to sacrifice expediency for comfort. We must get this right. We have to get this right."

Johnson said the Council will "discuss options and next steps in the coming days" about what to do next.

One source close to the situation tells Connect that the vote broke down to a 5-4 split.

Pat Monahan, current Interim City Manager, has expressed a desire to retire as soon as a qualified candidate is found and hired on to replace him.

The candidates were Caluha Barnes, Deputy City Manager of Modesto CA; Odie Donald II, City Manager of South Fulton; and John Pombier, Assistant City Manager of Mesa AZ.

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