More on the city

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I, and many others, wonder what City Manager Chris Hobby, the mayor and the city council are hiding. Recently, in a Freedom of Information letter, I asked the city a number of questions about the job search for the communications director’s job, including a list of the people who applied and their experience and who the city interviewed.

As usual, the city is hiding behind its lawyer. In a return letter, Hobby said, “Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, we have determined that the city does have records that include information responsive to your request. However, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 50-18-72 (a) (7), the city is unable to provide any information that would identify unsuccessful applicants for the position of City Communications Director.”

The Sunshine law doesn’t say the city cannot reveal the names of those seeking a position or the people who were interviewed. That’s strictly an interpretation and certainly wasn’t the intent of the law to begin with. For instance, in 1989, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that records relating to the names, resumes and vitae for candidates for a public position, such as president of Georgia State University, must be disclosed under the Act. The city is hiding something about this job and they know it. They are afraid of what we, the citizens of the city, will find out about their little kingdom. Or, perhaps the city feels that the position of Communications Director is more important than a college president.

Email newsletter signup

The city said there were 21 applicants for the position, seven males and 14 females, with 12 meeting minimum requirements and five people interviewed. According to the records provided to me by the city, Paige Robinson has no communications experience other than being a radio/TV on-air personality for WMGR and an ad salesperson for the same broadcast station. And I’d bet the farm that at least one-half of the applicants for the job had more experience and were better suited for the job.

Her salary is, according to the city records, $35,131.20 a year. That’s a whole lot of money for an inexperienced communications director. I guess they are paying her so well because she had significant course work in the French language. And I guess that speaks well for the city council, which is paying Hobby $109,725.46 a year, and Community Development Director Amanda Glover $63,564.80 a year. No wonder they’ve increased water and sewage rates again. They are wasting money like it grows on trees. Oh, I forget, all they have to do is increase your taxes and fees and utility rates to bring in money.

After what I’ve found out about the goings-on in City Hall, I’m beginning to think they did my wife a favor, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want her working in that cesspool. Some of those goings-on will be revealed at a later time. Most of the members of the city council have been told about some of those goings-on but they have chosen to ignore them. For those who didn’t read my previous letter, my wife is Linda Sanders, who had 11 years experience as a staff writer at The Post-Searchlight. Now, I know that she did not meet the minimum requirements of a bachelor’s degree; however, experience is much better than a college degree is jobs like this. Having a college degree isn’t going to help anybody in a job like this.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Rex SandersBainbridge, Ga.