Tybee Island, Georgia, Emails with Governor’s Office Regarding Covid-19 Beach Closure

City of Tybee Island, GA, records of city officials’ communications with the office of Georgia governor Brian Kemp. The records include emails from the mayor formally requesting that the state allow the city to keep beaches closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as well as replies from Kemp’s office denying the request. Obtained via a public records request by American Oversight.

You can read more about these documents in the article “Records Show Fierce Battle Over Tybee Island’s Beach Reopening,” by Greg Bluestein, published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 29, 2020.

In these records

April 3, 2020: Shirley Sessions, mayor of the city of Tybee Island, Georgia, wrote an email to Gov. Brian Kemp asking to keep Tybee Island beaches closed: “[A]s Mayor of Tybee Island and on behalf of our City Council and the citizens of our community, and beyond, I respectfully ask that you please allow Tybee Island beaches to remain closed. It will be a devastating blow to the safety of our residents and others to reopen the beach at this time.” 

Candice L. Broce, Kemp’s director of communications and chief deputy executive counsel, replied to Sessions a few hours later: “At this time, we are asking Tybee Island leaders to comply with the terms of the Executive Order. The beaches are now open.”