It was great to see so many faces at the meeting on Friday!  Before listening to our speaker, Mayor Eddie DeLoach, President Ben Brewer announced that Mark Sprosty had fulfilled all requirements to become a Blue Badge - congratulations Mark!  Ben reminded members of the ongoing book drive the month of September which will benefit Haven Elementary.  He encouraged all members to bring in a Kindergarten - 5th Grade book.  When all Rotary business items were complete, Paul Tatum introduced the 66th mayor of Savannah, Mayor Eddie DeLoach. 
 
Mayor DeLoach began his presentation by talking about Hurricane Irma.  15-20% of people evacuated Savannah (this number is calculated base on sewage use) and about 78,000 people lost power.  It look slightly longer for power to return than it did after Hurricane Matthew because many resources were deployed to help those who were effected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in Florida.  Overall, the Mayor felt that Savannah had a great response and result from Irma. 
 
Mayor DeLoach then talked about what he wants to accomplish while in office.  He believes that education is the key to everything and that the school system has a long way to go.  He is proposing to develop a new school for children ages 6 months - 3 years old.  Many children enter the public school system behind because that have not had access to education before pre-k.  If children can enter into school as equals with those who have had exposure to school, then they have the opportunity to succeed.  
 
Mayor DeLoach believes he has a great council and City Manager to work with to accomplish his goals.  He felt there needed to be strategic plan and that every dollar spent needs to be a part of the plan and touch a person.  Some points of the strategic plan are: 1. Public Safety, 2. Infrastructure, 3. Economic Development, 4. Workforce Development and 5. Reduce Poverty.  Since he has been in office, Savannah has seen a 5% reduction in crime, a fully staffed police force, and a summer work program for high school students.   
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