September 17, 2018
For Immediate Release
City and OpenSavannah Announce Budget Feedback Event
SAVANNAH, GA (September 17, 2018) — The City of Savannah and OpenSavannah are joining together to host CityCamp Savannah: City Budget and Beyond, on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center. This flagship one-day event is a new attempt to improve transparency and spur public participation in the 2019 budget and beyond.
“We want to move forward and work collectively with our citizens, businesses and other stakeholders to find solutions to our funding challenges. We hope this event, which will not be the last, will help restore public trust.,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Melissa Carter.
“The City faces many of the same challenges individuals face with their personal budgets, just on a much larger scale,” added Mayor Eddie DeLoach. “We are looking forward to educating our citizens more about the challenges the city faces and how we prioritize the needs of our community and follow the City’s Savannah Forward strategic plan.”
The Savannah Forward strategic plan priorities include Good Government, Public Safety, Infrastructure & Development, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Economic Strength & Poverty Reduction. The plan was developed by City Council last summer following numerous public feedback sessions.
Organized by local volunteers of OpenSavannah working in equal collaboration with public servants, CityCamp Savannah aims to bring together civic leaders, concerned citizens, elected officials, journalists, nonprofits, business leaders, youth, everyday residents, and all of Savannah's collective action for a day of solution-building to answer the underlying question: "What do we want to create together for the future of our city?"
“This will be civic engagement at its best,” said OpenSavannah Founder Carl V. Lewis. “This will show how taxpayer dollars are spent and it will give participants an opportunity to learn and have a voice.”
During the first half of the day, attendees will learn the ins and outs of all that goes into crafting the annual municipal budget from the City’s Office of Management and Budget. A panel discussion from local change-makers will also take place.
Following lunch, attendees will then set the agenda, leading lightning talks and breakout sessions on pre-submitted topics. While the general theme for the afternoon talks should revolve around the City’s strategic priorities, budget matters will act as a lens for what the City’s collective goals should be for the future.
The day will conclude with an interactive budget-balancing game in which attendees will weigh in digitally regarding the funding of city services, without letting expenses surpass revenues. The event will then kick off a three-week public feedback period where residents who could not attend will have the opportunity to weigh on their mobile devices as to how they would allocate budget dollars.
CityCamp Savannah is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is available on Eventbrite. Participants are encouraged to remain on site and engaged for the entire session. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please visit www.citycampsav.org The City and OpenSavannah will be using the hashtag #wherethemoneygoes
“This will be a very hands on and engaging event. We encourage residents of all ages to attend, including middle and high school students. Come let your voice be heard, we are listening,” said Carter.
WHAT: CityCamp Savannah: City Budget and Beyond
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Savannah Civic Center, 3rd Floor Ballroom, 301 West Oglethorpe Ave.
SIGN UP: Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/citycampsav-city-budget-and-beyond-summit-tickets-49007794633
The CityCamp Savannah event aligns with the City’s strategic plan under the priority of Good Government.