Fire marshal resignation is latest blow to scandal-weary Savannah

Ever get the feeling that all our public institutions are unraveling? No? Maybe you should move to Savannah.

Late last week, we got word that Savannah Fire Marshal Craig Landolt, who was honored as fire inspector of the year by the Georgia Fire Inspectors Association, had abruptly left his post. From the Savannah Morning News:

Landolt provided no explanation for his sudden departure in the one-line letter, but he said in a performance review in February that he was working in “adverse and hostile” working conditions and his office failed to get adequate support.

“The level of inadequate support received by me and this office compared to the bureau’s budget and the importance of what we do is abominable and embarrassing,” Landolt said in the review. […]

Savannah Fire & Emergency Services Chief Charles Middleton declined to comment, citing Landolt’s retirement and any surrounding issues as personnel matters, according to a department spokesman.

Landolt was among a group of 10 senior fire department staffers who had made claims of a hostile work environment in a group email to City Manager Stephanie Cutter last November. In the letter, staffers called for an independent investigation into the misconduct and mistreatment of employees and illegal hiring practices after mediation failed to resolve the issues.

This news comes on top of a huge mess at Recorder’s Court, which led to the effective demotion of Judge Tammy Stokes by Superior Court judges followed by her reinstatement by the Georgia Supreme Court, and recent revelations about a pattern of problems in payroll, accounting, and human resources procedures at Live Oak Public Libraries.

Our former police chief and former transit system director are both serving federal sentences, although alderman Tony Thomas was not indicted after years of sordid accusations. The GBI is currently investigating the death of an inmate at the Chatham County jail — that’s especially worrisome after the gruesome death of a mentally ill man at the jail in 2015.

Meanwhile, city of Savannah officials have chosen to waste a lot of political capital with an ill-advised and dangerous “experiment” to remove parking spaces on Bay Street.

By comparison, the Chatham Emergency Management Agency’s fumbling of communications during Tropical Storm Hermine looks pretty darn good.

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LynnGEllynnblakeage80Charlie Recent comment authors
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Charlie
Charlie

Trying to decide on where to start….

1) Other than that Mrs. Lincoln…

2) But, Local Control!, or

3) Is is possible for the Georgia Ports Authority to just assume control of a nearby municipality?

Ellynn
Ellynn

1) Abe’s on Lincon… city ordered and installed misspelled Lincoln street sign in front of Abe’s on Lincoln bar. 2) You can’t make voters pick good reps (reference Trump, Donald J.) 3) They would have take control of Chatham County, Savannah, Port Wentworth, Garden City, Savannah Chatham police, Savannah Fire, the sheriffs office, Savannah, Port Wentworth, Pooler and Chatham building departments, CAT, Memorial Hospital, Chatham parks and rec, The Aquatic Center, School board, and the tri- county Library system. I don’t this GPA has that much patients (However; states running municipalities is not going so well in Michigan, ie Flint,… Read more »

blakeage80
blakeage80

Savannah really is a sad waste of a cultural, ecological and economic jewel. Racism, corruption and a generally backward view of any issue is causing it to lose many gains made in the last decade or two.

Charlie
Charlie

Now let me give you an opposite view: 1) You’re correct about Savannah’s positives. 2) Every town, especially in the South, has had to come to grips with racial coalition politics. My view is that in Savannah there is a new generation where coalitions are being formed based on who can fix problems, not along racial lines. I think both the new Mayor and School board chair are evidence of that. 3) Corruption should never be measured on convictions. A conviction shows that someone is paying attention, and that the elected officials are not above the law. The most corrupt… Read more »

blakeage80
blakeage80

2) There is the racial coalition politics and then there’s the racism one experiences when dealing various bureaucrats, municipal employees, and the court system. They are the face of everyday life there, not the alderman. Hopefully, problem solvers win the political posts and it filters down into the inner workings of the municipal government. 3) I like your principle here, but would take it a step further to say that corruption can be measured by what happens after the current corrupt officials are gone. Who replaces them? The problem solvers or another opportunist. That you are hopeful is good. You… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

If you had to choose between a known proven results based problem solver who was pro-choice and gay – or – the nice guy you go to church with who feels just like you about Roe vs Wade and gay marriage but couldn’t lead a pack of Eagle Scouts out of a fun house, who would you vote for?

Ellynn
Ellynn

In some cases this is getting what you paid for or didn’t pay for to prevent taxes from going up. The city and county want to expand and grow the economy, with new business and jobs. Yet they make the licensing and building of such items impossibly slow. Chief Landolt had his budget cut 4 times for inspection, plan review and training. With new construction picking up, they cut is again. The Building department in order to prevent “corruption” installed an online tracking system so complicated, they have to train the public to use it. They didn’t want to fork… Read more »

LynnG
LynnG

Charlie is right! After visiting Savannah several times a year, this place needed this to happen. Savannah is growing and its the best city in Georgia. Go visit!!!