SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah’s new mayor answered questions from community members about his plan to resolve issues facing the city.
Mayor Van Johnson said this is the first time he has spoken to members of the community since he was sworn into face. He shared his vision for the city and the issues he plans to address at Savannah’s first city council meeting.
People in the community gathered together for the monthly Hungry Club Forum held at the West Broad Street YMCA. The monthly round-table convenes on the first Saturday of each month.
Johnson told people at today’s meeting, “trust, transparency, and inclusion, are the characteristics he wants of his mayorship. He said his goal is to have people in the community feel that they are at the table with their city government.
“We want people to be engaged, we don’t want people to suffer from apathy. We want them to be engaged and informed and involved in what’s happening in their local government,” Johnson said.
Dianna Harvey-Johnson, a consultant for the Hungry Club Forum, said the monthly event is focused on providing a voice for people in the community.
“It’s not about the elected officials, it’s about the people in the community,” Harvey-Johnson said.
Johnson said he believes the challenge facing the council, is maintaining the excitement and energy that filled the Saturday morning’s meeting.
“The question is we have to maintain that energy, maintain that vigor, maintain that excitement when the work begins,” Johnson stated.
Harvey-Johnson said she felt the forum was impactful in sparking actions for the newly-elected officials She encouraged people to gather in groups and actively engage in their communities in order to create change and have a voice.
“He’s inviting people to come to the city council meetings, you can always call, you can text, you can email,” Harvey-Johnson said.