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July 22, 2021 - After months of interviews and discussion, the Savannah City Council approved the hiring of Jay Melder of Washington, DC as the city’s new City Manager. The hire was motioned by Mayor Van Johnson and seconded by Alderwoman Linda Wilder Bryan.

“I am extremely honored that the Mayor and City Council have expressed their confidence in me to be the next City Manager of this great city,” Melder said. “They have an ambitious vision for Savannah, and I committed to working hand in hand with them to deliver that vision on behalf of all Savannahians. I am eager to join the ranks of Savannah city employees who are already working tirelessly to achieve these goals. I can't wait to become a Savannahian myself, and to meet more of our residents, get to know our neighborhoods and engage and partner with the many committed stakeholders who all want Savannah to be a great place to live, learn, work, prosper and play.”

Melder has been with the DC Government for more six years, and have been serving as Assistant City Administrator for Internal Services since March 2019.

Prior to that, he served as the Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services from April 2017, and has served in the Executive Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

In previous roles with Washington, DC, he served as Deputy Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Executive Office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

He has also worked with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where he was Director of Communications and External Affairs.

Melder has also been a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts, advising the Literature and Arts Education Directors in their efforts to provide national leadership and direction for local and state cultural agencies and non-government arts & cultural organizations, according to his published bio.

His education includes American University in Washington, DC, where he holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing / Literature, and a Bachelors in English from Louisiana State University.  

“This is an exciting moment for our City as we name a true visionary to help guide us to new heights of success,” said Mayor Van R. Johnson, II. “Jay Melder has the knowledge and skills we need to take the big, bold actions to make Savannah an even better place. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Michael Brown for selflessly coming out of retirement to provide a steady hand for our City when we needed him the most. He is the consummate public servant, and he will always be a part of Team Savannah.”

Melder is expected to assume the role of City Manager on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Following the resignation of interim City Manager Michael Brown, Council has appointed Heath Lloyd to serve as interim City Manager from Friday, July 30, to Friday, Sept. 10. Lloyd currently serves as Assistant City Manager and Chief Infrastructure and Development Officer.

Council approved a salary of $20,000 per month for Lloyd as interim City Manager. 

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