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Crime, Unity are Focus of Savannah State of the City Address

"We are moving forward as one."  

That's the message of Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

People in Savannah were looking for plans and hopes for the future from Tuesday's State of the City address, but did the Mayor deliver?

A team.

That's what much of Edna Jackson's speech focused on.

The team that has become Savannah's City Council.

The team of people working for the city and their various departments.

The team of people that makes up the entire population of Savannah.

It's a team that she believes needs to work together to move Savannah forward.

The gathered crowd heard a litany of accomplishments for each and every department head, from leisure services to sanitation, to fire and police.

A "united" group of people working to make "your city", as she called it, better.

A city though that is not without questions and problems.

One of those stems from the LOST negotiations.

Jackson offered a sobering thought if Savannah doesn't get more of that tax money from the county.

"If we don't get our fair share, you know what's going to happen? We have to raise the millage rate," explained a defiant Jackson. "So if you know a county commissioner, please address that with them."
The topic everyone was waiting to hear about was crime.
While she touted the accomplishments of the Savannah-Chatham Police Department and the fact crime is at its lowest rate in a decade.

Jackson admitted not everyone feels those numbers tell the whole story.

"The numbers say last year was the safest on record. But the people we talk to don't feel that way, am I right?" said Mayor Jackson. "This Mayor and this council and our city manager will not be satisfied until our good citizens are safe and feel safe."

She also offered a message to all criminals, both young and old.

"To the dealers out there, scaring our law abiding citizens, this is a warning. We are coming after you," said the Mayor. "And if we can find them and they are underage, we're going to talk to the mothers, the fathers, and let them know we will hold them accountable as well."

And to that end, the Mayor announced a Youth Summit for April to discuss the problems young people in Savannah are facing, and how to keep them away from trouble.

The other thing we will be following in the coming weeks is Jackson's public call for gun control in Savannah.

She says she will be talking to mayors from around the nation about a possible law for Savannah and she hopes to have the council's support.

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