Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

October 1, 2013

City of Savannah fires director of film office

SAVANNAH — The director of Savannah’s film office was fired Monday after city officials said complaints surfaced about the production of “Spongebob 2 The Movie.”

City officials first suspended Film Services Director Jay Self without pay, and decided to fire him during an appeal hearing Monday afternoon.

Self’s boss, Joseph Shearouse, the city’s leisure services bureau chief, will assume many of Self’s duties while the city looks for a replacement, city spokesman Brett Bell said. Bell declined to comment further on the city’s decision to fire Self or the factors that led to the decision, saying city officials typically don’t speak publicly about personnel matters.

A Sept. 23 city memo obtained by WTOC-TV accuses Self of shortcomings surrounding the filming of the Spongebob sequel. It cites complaints from local businesses and others.   

“This action is as a result of your failure to properly plan and manage the arrangement for the movie ‘SpongeBob 2 The Movie,”’ Shearouse, said in a memo to Self explaining the suspension. In the memo, Shearouse referred to a meeting that he, Self and the city manager had held on July 17 to discuss the movie.

“At that time, you assured the City Manager that prior to the arrival of the movie’s production team all issues with businesses related to the movie would be resolved,” he wrote.

Then, in late August, Shearouse and Self met again.

“At that time I told you your position as Film Services Director was in jeopardy,” Shearouse said.  

After the production team arrived, the mayor and city manager received “numerous” complaints from local businesses, Shearouse said.

In a 14-page statement provided by his attorney, Self said the city’s decision to terminate him violates his constitutional right to due process because he was never given an opportunity to respond to complaints that were made against him — which Self says he neither saw nor heard before he was suspended.  

“I have given my heart and soul to establishing this office and making Savannah a film-friendly community,” Self said in the statement. “I did so over the last 18 years by building relationships in and outside of Savannah, but I also did so by ensuring that, when the movie stars and deep-pocketed film companies pack up and leave Savannah, they do so leaving Savannah in a better place.”

Ruel Joyner, president of the Downtown Business Association, was quoted by the Savannah Morning News as saying that Self has always been a good liaison between local businesses and production companies.

Filming for “SpongeBob Squarepants 2 The Movie” has already started on Tybee Island and is expected to move to downtown Savannah in the near future, Bell said.

He added that the production is expected to produce about $8 million in direct revenue for the city, and several times that amount in indirect revenue.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Valdosta runners return to Boston Marathon

    Americans held their breaths a year ago while watching the news. Panic and confusion filled the streets of Boston as participants of the city’s prestigious marathon scrambled to safety after the detonation of two bombs.

    April 21, 2014

  • Ga. online tuition dropping

    Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
    Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore — an online system that focuses on “core” classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take — for 1 or 2 courses each semester.

    April 21, 2014

  • Space Robot_Rich copy.jpg NASA’s Robonaut finally getting legs

    Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nepal Everest Avalanc_Rich copy.jpg Another body pulled from snow in avalanche

    Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry

    After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into a submerged ferry off South Korea’s southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to 49, officials said.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP450420090 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Today is Easter Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeland hospital, convalescent home getting new owner

    The Hospital Authority of Valdosta & Lowndes County,  d/b/a South Georgia Medical Center (Hospital Authority), has entered into a definitive agreement with Lanier Health Services, Inc. to transfer ownership of Lanier Health Services, Inc. d/b/a Louis Smith Memorial Hospital and Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center effective May 1, 2014.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lowndes commissioner certified

    Lowndes County Commissioner Demarcus Marshall earned his certification as a county commissioner from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

    April 20, 2014

  • Brooks urges deep-dug pipeline

    Brooks County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution earlier this month encouraging Sabal Trail to bury its proposed natural gas pipeline two feet deeper than the three-feet requirements.

    April 20, 2014

  • Flood warning remains in effect for Brooks, Lowndes counties

    April 19, 2014

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results