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Study of Nighttime Activities; Still Fighting the Fight

From the President: As many of you are aware, the city has hired a consultant, Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI), to study the nighttime activities and economy for the past 10 months. This study is to be used as part of the foundation for the creation of a city manager position responsible for late night activities and problems that arise after normal business hours. This manager is to be based in the glass building in Ellis Square.

After 10 months of review and meetings with residents and other groups, DNA included, RHI has completed its report and is now prepared to present its findings to the community. DNA Board members have read the report and provided the city with comments. RHI and the Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism, will be hosting two community meetings at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St, this Thursday, July 13, at 1 pm and 6 pm. I encourage those of you interested in how this plan is to be rolled out and managed to attend one of these two meetings. The Board has a great deal of hope that this plan will alleviate some of the tourism and crime issues that occur late at night in parts of our community. Any success will greatly depend on how the city staffs and funds this late-night manager position.

I also wanted to let you know that as a result of the special election to be held on September 19 for the vacant seat on the Chatham County Council, due to the passing of Gator Rivers, we will be moving our September 19th membership meeting to September 12 instead. Please mark your calendars with this change. Police Chief Lenny Gunther will be our presenter that night.

Last, I wanted to share with you a document DNA member Tru Helms found from October 26, 1967, which shows the DNA issuing a statement urging the city to respect the Oglethorpe Plan and to protect the beauty of the squares. (You can read the document here.) Surprisingly, in the 1960s fire trucks were allowed to drive straight through the squares. Luckily, that’s one hazard that has been eliminated; however, it is sad that 56 years later we are still fighting similar issues. As it was in 1967, the DNA still fights to preserve the Oglethorpe Plan today and tomorrow. Thank you Tru for finding and sharing this document.

David McDonald


Downtown Neighborhood Association Savannah, GA Inc.

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