Notes From the Road: Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail
It's (not just) time, Savannah; It's Overtime for a Change
The Eastside Alliance is an attempt by my friend Nikki Carangelo to unite more than 250 families from Gordonston, Pine Gardens, Avondale and Twickenham in an effort to bring their greater weight to bear on the City of Savannah's failure to protect and serve their neighborhoods. They are a rainbow coalition of black and white and brown and yellow and young and old and well-to-do and less-than-well-to-do and those-that-don't, but they stand united in their desire for peace and quiet. Areas once considered to be safe havens not too long ago are now shattered by drive-by shootings in broad daylight, burglaries, gang activity and random gunfire on a daily basis. Finally, Nikki and her neighbors summoned the strength to stand before City Council and list their grievances along with a list of solutions, including a request for a new police precinct, bike and foot patrols, and hiring more cops.
In response, Mayor Jackson applauded Nikki's performance and was seconded by eastside aldermen Hall and Osborne. "Everyone up here," Hall said of his fellow council members, "supports this." And then the Eastside Alliance exited so that Council could move on to other matters, including an initiative to ban offshore drilling; business as usual.
We roll back the tape just nine days prior to Nikki's appearance in chambers to an earlier council meeting in which the City Manager cited the Overtime Sports Bar for a long list of code violations, capped off by the murder of a young man in the bar's parking lot last August. After running down a list of more than 150 offenses over a 36-month period that should've resulted in lifting the bar's liquor license permanently, the City Manager asked that it be suspended for one whole week-- and even THAT slap on the wrist was kissed by Hall and Osborne, who led the vote to allow Overtime to go into a second overtime.
Clearly, our present city council has no intention of protecting Eastside families from the threat to safety that is the Overtime Sports Bar. Council simply sits there and agrees with whomever is standing in front of them, just to shut them up and then hope they go away. Meanwhile, they allow chronic and rampant lawbreakers to remain in business, and I'll leave it to you to wonder how and why.
It's Time, Savannah, for a Change at City Hall. In fact, It's Overtime.
Appreciate your feedback on this story. Please join me in changing Savannah.
Murray Silver | DONATE HERE