[SAVANNAH, Ga] Second District Alderman Bill Durrence announced his candidacy to run for re-election in the Second District earlier this week before constituents, friends and family. Durrence was born in the Second District and has lived and been involved there for more than 30 years along with his wife, Barbara Gatens.
In the past three and a half years since being elected to City Council, Durrence and fellow Aldermen have been responsible for a number of accomplishments including the Savannah Forward Strategic Plan, the creation of Savannah Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division, Cold Case Unit and the Domestic Violence Unit.
Additionally Durrence told the crowd that the implementation of the Second District Improvement Fund and the recent passing of NewZO are noteworthy as is the creation of the Hotel Overlay District, the updated Short-Term Vacation Rental Ordinance and process of using Stakeholder Meetings as a means to involve the community in the decision-making process have all been well-received. With Phase Two of the Waters Avenue improvements coming to completion two months ahead of schedule, the corridor is ready for redevelopment.
Transportation is also an initiative Durrence has worked hard on through his appointment to the Chatham Area Transit Board as well as with his interest in exploring new ways to help service industry workers.
“There is still work left to do.” Durrence told the crowd of supporters. “I will focus on three things to help move the Second District and Savannah forward.”
Public safety: Continuing efforts to reduce violent crime. A significant part of that challenge is maintaining a fully-staffed police department. It takes $70,000 and 9-10 months to train a recruit from hiring to becoming a patrol officer. With an attrition rate around 10-12 officers a month, hiring and retention is a never-ending challenge.
Public safety is all encompassing and we must work to make our streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians and bicycles, moving past the auto-centric emphasis of the last half century.
Common Sense Growth Management: Ordinances such as the Event Ordinance and the Tour Service Ordinance in concert with a comprehensive Tourism Management Plan must be prioritized so we can continue on a forward path of protection of the historic character of the city and quality of life residents over visitor activities.
Among these include better management of the impact of activities such as races and film making.
Creating a Sustainable Budget: City revenues are not growing as fast as expenses. Street paving and stormwater mediation costs come from our General Fund, but it does not have the capacity to support those large ticket expenses. In the next two years City Council will be faced with some very difficult funding decisions. Anyone offering new initiatives that require new spending should be asked how they will be funded.
For more information on Bill Durrence and his re-election campaign, visit electbilldurrence.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.