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For immediate press release:

Commissioner James “Jay” Jones is Running for Chatham County Chairman!

The day has come for Chatham County District 6 Commissioner James “Jay” Jones to announce his candidacy for Chairman of the Board of Chatham County Commission. The event is scheduled for January 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. in the Buccaneers Club Restaurant 714 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Continuing what he started in 2017 his focus (1)A1 Chatham County Services, (2)Business Sense for All, and (3)Community Renewed Through Inclusion. Simple as ABC!

Commissioner Jones stated, “I will continue to work hard to serve my community until my term expires at the end of 2020. It has been a privilege and honor to serve the people of the 6th District and the entire Chatham County community. Our community should be proud of what we accomplished in such a short time, but we have much more work to do!”

Join him Friday, January 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. for the full conversation and reflection of his plans to become the next Chairman of Chatham County.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 10:19 PM

Addressing Gun Violence in Savannah

Add your news summary here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 9:01 PM

Election Officials Holding Training Sessions How to use the New Voting Machines

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 9:58 PM

Access to the New Voting Machines

Access to the New Voting Machines

Wednesday February 5, 2020

The entire state of Georgia will be using new voting machines on March 24th, 2020 for the presidential primary election.  A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI) will be conducting workshops to share the machines to the Chatham County community on February 13, 2020.  APRI Board member 6th District Commissioner Jay Jones has also teamed up with Board of Elections member Antwan Lang and other elected officials to conduct two sessions. A morning session starting at 11:00 a.m. at Southwest Library; 14097 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31419 and an evening session starting at 6:30 p.m. at the International Longshoremen (ILA) Hall at 221 North Lathrop Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31402.

Secretary of State officials, along with our Board of Elections are working to ready the community for voter preparation in Chatham County.
— Savannah Herald


Friday, January 17, 2020 11:53 PM

The feral cat population is booming in Chatham County. Here's what's being done to change that

Emma Hamilton

Updated: 5:28 PM EST Jan 17, 2020


On Friday, Chatham County Commissioners voted to approve changes to the Animal Ordinance.

Some of these changes include making it legal to feed cats on public property, allowing code officers to cite people for neglect and cruelty and changing the rabies vaccination age to 14 weeks rather than six months.

At a public workshop on the proposed changes on January 7, the community expressed wanting to come up with a different way to address the overpopulation of feral cats rather than euthanizing them.

That language did not get added on Friday, but something else did that the community did not get to weigh in on.
All of the commissioners said they were happy with the six changes proposed that the community was able to weigh in on in early January.

But just recently, language was added that gives Animal Services Director Dr. Jake Harper the discretion to work with different groups or create programs to address the feral cat issue in the county.

“Mind you, that was not on the initial agenda. When we went through those six things, that wasn’t on the initial it was added and then told to us maybe two days ago," said Chatham County Commissioner of the sixth district James "Jay" Jones.

The community never knew about this addition and asked last week for the feral cat issue to be addressed directly, rather than vaguely giving Dr. Harper the discretion to do what he thinks is best.

“My thing is, in 2017, I stated this and I’ll say it again: we did not have enough community input. All I care about is community input. I don’t care about race, color or anything like that, it’s all about community input and I think with us in Chatham County, we need to have more community input. Make sure the people are heard and their message is sent," Jones said.

Many people believe a program referred to as, "TNVR" is the answer to overpopulation problem.
“Trap, neuter, vaccinate and return. Basically you’re trapping cats, you’re spaying and neutering them vaccinating them and returning them back to where they came from. Eventually, the population goes down and then you’ll have less cats. Its been proven all over the state and basically the country that trapping and killing doesn’t work. We’re still in the same cat problem we’ve been in for the past 40 years," said One Love Animal Rescue member and Chatham County resident Katy Cohen.

Jones said, “I saw we are averaging about 2,400 euthanized animals per year. And if this is the truth, what are the options?"

“The goal for everyone here is to have less cats. I guess the issue is how to get to that goal?," Cohen added.
Commissioners Jones and Dean Kicklighter both advocated to add different language and come back to the issue, but Chairman Al Scott decided to move forward with the vote.

“We have a lot of seniors in our community that can’t deal with these cats running around. The vaccinations last three years, who’s rounding the cats up at the end of the three years to re-vaccinate them?"

With the majority approval of the revisions to the animal ordinance, it will go into effect February 1, 2020

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 9:09 PM

Commissioner Jones Holds Town Hall Meetings

May 14, 2019 at 11:18 PM EDT - Updated May 14 at 11:34 PM

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Commissioner Jay Jones held a town hall on Tuesday to connect with his residents in Chatham County.

Chatham County Police Officers were there talking with neighbors. CEMA, E-911, and voter registration were all on hand to answer questions.

Jones says social media is a great communicator but these town halls can get more people in the loop with Chatham County services.

“They wanted to talk to certain groups of people and making sure those groups of people were present," said Commission Jay Jones. "I just wanted to make sure that I eliminated any excuse that would be out there as far as getting county presence within the community.”

There’s two more townhalls for district five. Saturday at the Southwest library from 10:30 a.m. to noon and next Tuesday May 21st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at bamboo farms.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 12, 2017 11:12 PM

Chatham County Adopts New Animal Control Ordinance

By Kelly Quimby

Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:27 PM

A new ordinance meant to govern responsible pet ownership in unincorporated Chatham County got approval from the county commission Friday.

In an 8-1 vote, the board on second reading repealed the first four articles of the county’s old animal control ordinance and replaced it with what staff called in a memo a more “modernized” version that better conforms to pet care standards.

Commissioner Jay Jones, who cast the sole dissenting vote, said after the commission’s meeting Friday he wanted more community involvement in the new ordinance.

Although county staffers did solicit comments from the public as they developed the new ordinance, some citizens echoed the dissenting commissioner’s concerns. Karen Hickman told the commission Friday that while she believes the ordinance overall is a move in the right direction, the changes approved Friday had not been made available for the public to review in advance of the meeting.

Another resident, Paula Wagner, who has attended every public discussion of the ordinance since the first reading March 24, complained on Thursday that the events scheduled for the public to give verbal comments on the proposal were held during work hours, when many citizens could not attend.

Wagner has repeatedly asked the county to consider a draft ordinance that she submitted, but the commission made no further changes to the version adopted this week.
Assistant County Attorney Jennifer Burns said Friday the approved ordinance had undergone one more revision since the board last saw it April 21. After taking into account public comments submitted after that meeting, Burns said staff defined the term “menacing” in the ordinance adopted Friday and changed terminology on a newly created animal control board to require a neutral hearing officer in cases involving whether to classify a dog as dangerous or vicious.

However, Burns said, the ordinance does not change the provision that prohibits cats from running at large. This has been a contentious issue among some citizens, including the authors of some recent letters to the editor in the Savannah Morning News. One of those letter writers, Wagner, said this week that it’s against a cat’s nature to stay on their owners’ properties or to stay under their owners’ manual control on a leash or in a carrier.
Even so, the assistant county attorney said the ordinance adopted Friday requires that cats - as well as dogs - be under the manual control of their owner outside of their owner’s property. The only exception is if other property owners, like neighbors, give their permission for cats or dogs to run at large on their property.

The ordinance will initially apply only to the unincorporated county, but staffers have said the hope is to get the municipalities to adopt similar ordinances to create a community-wide standard.

At the close of the discussion on the ordinance Friday, Commission Chairman Al Scott said he understands not everyone is happy with it, and he suggests residents who still want changes to contact their district representative on the county commission. “It’s not exactly like the tablets - it’s not etched in stone,” Scott said. “It can be amended.”



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Committee to Elect James "Jay" Jones
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