The Mayoral Internship Summary

City of Savannah
The Mayoral Internship

City of Savannah, Georgia
By: Jonas Subaar, MPA

Introduction The City of Savannah’s City Hall is a beautiful setting indeed to have an internship. Since its construction in 1906, the City Hall has a unique design that inspires all who step in. The portraits of Mayors since 1790 are lined up on the walls of the building, representing a historic piece that fascinates visitors with the knowledge of rich foundation of leaders of the City of Savannah.

On September 22, 2014, I began my internship as a graduate intern in the Office of the Mayor, in the historic City Hall of the City of Savannah. The Graduate Internship in the office of the Mayor is designed for interns to gain the opportunity to learn the inner-workings of local city government and have an opportunity to meet and work with city staff from all sections of city administration and operations.

Before commencing work at the City Hall, I had a number of meetings with Ms. Carliss Bates, the Intern Administrator, my direct supervisor, who shared with me the scope and function of the internship. I worked closely with her and Mayor Edna Jackson. Mayor Jackson is the 65th Mayor of Savannah, and the first African-American woman to hold this positions.My role and responsibilities expanded on youth initiative programs which involved the Savannah Youth Council and as well as other youth initiatives on the Mayor and Council’s agenda. My weekly assignments were a combination of factors including the needs of the Mayor’s Office and my skill set and expressed interests.

From the entrance to the last door of the City Hall, is a group of welcoming folks who together see to the day to day business of the City. During the entire period of my internship, I have enjoyed the collaborative work and noted with admiration the great work ethics of the Administrative Assistants to the Mayor Ms. Sharonte Turner and Ms. Edith Gregory.


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Kick off!!! Mayor’s Taskforce for Afterschool Initiative

The City of Savannah is keen to supporting children and the entire youth of the community. Current afterschool programs are dispersed and lack a community-wide coordination and undefined funding sources. The present taskforce would be charged to address the questions of access, need and quality. The resolution sought to support communities by improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of programs

The afterschool taskforce is a unique City organization to provide opportunities for public input, and help build public and opinion-leader awareness of afterschool options.

First plenary session was Tuesday, February 10,  2015.

Final report is due on July 31, 201520150210_194317 20150210_194826 20150210_194828 20150210_195200 20150210_195209

Mayor’s After School Task Force

February 10, 2015

1st Plenary Meeting Minutes

 Members attending: (list attached)


Mayor Edna Jackson welcomed taskforce members and introduced Mayor Pro-Tem, Alderman Van Johnson and Carliss Bates for their good works in leading the initiative. She expressed her appreciation for the dedication of the Community and City to the issues affecting the Youth of Savanah.

Taskforce Agenda Presentation;

Jonas Subaar (Graduate Intern, Office of the Mayor) presented on the taskforce background, responsibilities and timeline:

  • It is required to issue a final report or a study by July 31st, 2015.
    • Produce a comprehensive report with documentation and issue briefs and the blueprint for a legislative approach and additional funding for afterschool programs
    • Link student success in education and the City’s role in providing adequate support for children
    • Consider and make recommendations on issues affecting afterschool programs
  • Develop policy proposals for consideration by policymakers.
    • Appointment of afterschool providers who represent various types of programs; middle and high schools, and large and small schools to create Advisory boards/Savannah Afterschool Alliance.
    • Design a tool for policy makers to use in partnership with local stakeholders to identify the core elements of effective delivery of quality afterschool programs
  • The meeting intends to cover key topics in the initial meeting and plan together for future meetings.

Breakout Session

  • The Taskforce broke out into subcommittees Data, Access, and Quality. Groups were charged to assign task, schedule interim meetings and select their Chair and Recording Secretary. This is to create manageable sizes and enhance effective study and research for a comprehensive report and to allow public input.
  • Task force members discussed specific sections of the descriptive document and made suggestions on possible broad goals and possible broad actions. Their leadership will incorporate the ideas that came from the discussion and will circulate new working plans and document.

Thank you:

Mayor Pro-Tem, Van Johnson, thanked all After School Task Force members in attendance for their demonstrated commitment and asked that they work hard throughout the study process.  Dinner was provided for all attendees.

The next meeting date for the task force will be March 31, 2015.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Jonas Subaar

Graduate Intern, Office of the Mayor




The Mayoral Internship

The City of Savannah provides the opportunity for student at Graduate levels to intern at the City of Savannah in its various departments. The City matches Interns by programs and academic fields to provide qualified candidates with education related projects available through various departments. A Graduate Intern is typically responsible for performing research and analytical work on various projects related to the assigned service or professional area.

The present Graduate Internship at the office of the Mayor is designed for Interns to gain the opportunity to learn the inner-workings of local city government and have an opportunity to meet and work with city staff from a variety of disciplines.

Project Scope and Responsibilities

  • Assist City staff with   Mayor’s youth initiatives and events;
  • Outline best practices in youth engagement;
  • Attends committee meetings for Mayor’s  youth initiatives
  • Accompanies the Mayor to   various meetings and events
  • Attend press conferences, City Council workshops and meetings
  • Works with Mayor staff as needed for other administrative duties
  • Assist and work on special projects
  • Write and manage necessary documentation including: proclamations, letters, etc.

It is a great privilege for me  to work in this capacity as part of the Master Scholar Experience in the Master of Public Administration program of Savannah State University.