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Savannah unsettled still on city manager

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Savannah City Council has adjourned with no decision on how to move a city manager search process forward despite two votes and a motion to hire its interim city manager for the permanent job.

Albany City Manager Alfred Lott and interim city manager Rochelle Small-Toney are the two finalists for the job.

The council voted down two motions to suspend the search until 2012. A motion from Alderman Clifton Jones to hire Small-Toney died from a lack of a second.

The council then moved to adjourn the meeting.

The motions to suspend the search were viewed as a compromise that would have allowed a new commission -- all of the current aldermen are up for re-election in November -- to make the final hiring decision while allowing Small-Toney to stay on as interim city manager.

During the meeting, Johnson made reference to Lott no longer being a viable candidate for consideration, but as a matter of record, nothing has changed. Lott and Small-Toney are still under consideration, according to Brett Bell, Savannah's public information officer.

"Nothing has changed," Bell said. "There was no decision made."

Lott, who was in Washington on Thursday accompanying a delegation from Albany pitching local agenda items to lawmakers, was unavailable for comment.

Lott resigned as Albany city manager last year, but asked to remain as city head until the FY 2012 budget process is completed. The FY 2012 budget year begins July 1.

The Albany City Commission has moved forward toward finding Lott's replacement. With today set as the deadline to apply for the job, corporate headhunter Colin Baenziger told The Herald on Wednesday that 45 applicants had applied for the job.