SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The top three finalists for the new Savannah City Manager position are in the Hostess City. Mayor Van Johnson and the City Council have been searching for someone to replace Pat Monahan who has been filling in as the city’s manager since last June.
The finalists arrived on Thursday and will stay through the weekend. Council members said this is an opportunity for them to get to know the candidates beyond the Zoom meetings they’ve been conducting.
City officials said all three finalists bring valuable experience to the table. The candidates are Caluha Barnes, a native Georgian and the Deputy City Manager of Modesto, California; Odie Donald II, the City Manager in Fulton Georgia; and John Pombier, the Assistant City Manager of Mesa, Arizona. Visit here to read more about the finalists.
Although it is a difficult time to have an in-person meeting, city staff said it’s essential in their decision-making process.
“It’s worth it for such an important appointee such as our City Manager, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a new one, and the great ones do stick around for a while. It’s really exciting, and it’s going to be exciting for the council to actually meet them in person for the first time,” Alderman Nick Palumbo said.
The finalists will spend Friday with city staff, touring the different departments, and getting to know the area. City Council members said the city is trying to create an opportunity for residents to safely interact with the candidates at a panelist discussion on Saturday.
Council members said it will be crucial to see how they interact with Savannah’s citizens.