Following in his dad’s footsteps

Published 5:55 pm Friday, November 6, 2009

Just like his dad, Edward Reynolds will run the city from behind the counter of his pharmacy—filling prescriptions while fielding complaints about how the City of Bainbridge is being run.

Edward will assume the office of Bainbridge mayor in January after a four-year term of being the city’s at-large City Council member.

Edward is one of four children Bill K. Reynolds Sr. had with wife, Sug, including siblings Martha, Anna and Bill Jr. He entered public office without any opposition and he was elected Tuesday without opposition, which some say is indicative of just how popular the name Reynolds is when it comes to local politics.

And just like his father, the late Mayor B.K. “Bill” Reynolds Sr., Edward Reynolds is a pharmacist whose place of business may serve as the gathering point for those who want to ask the mayor about city business or freely speak about an issue.

Bill K. Reynolds served on the Bainbridge City Council from 1966 to 1978 and as mayor from 1978 to 2006. Only two people ever opposed him in a mayoral race. He passed away at the age of 71 in July 2006, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Edward said his father was a very understanding and patient person, was willing to listen to all sides and was able to help people reach good understandings and compromises.

He thinks he has that gift too.

“I think I’m patient and I generally have a positive attitude toward the community and the people here,” Edward said.

He said he has a more relaxed attitude and doesn’t get his dander up when faced with conflict or challenges.

He differs from his dad in many other ways, though,

“I’m a different leader in a lot of ways. I think some of the things that I think are important weren’t necessarily in his forefront. I think financial responsibility was the most important thing for him. I guess I’ve been given that gift by him to make sure to oversee that,” Edward said.

But there are other things he said he will focus on.

“Even though I want to be respectful of that gift, and make sure we still have it when I get done, let’s use the resources and let’s see what else we can do and see what other gifts we can use for future generations,” Edward said.

One of the qualities that the younger Reynolds said he has that perhaps his father, whose family was in the turpentine business in the early 20th Century, didn’t have as much was being a visionary.

For example, Edward has expanded his business, Bainbridge Pharmacy, in ways that perhaps his father would not have thought about.

The late mayor was more gregarious than Edward is, he says. Where as Bill would slap friends on the back, Edward is not comfortable with that type of glad-handing.

Just like his father, his ambition for being mayor is as high as it climbs.

And just like his father, Edward said, “I have a genuine love and caring for the community, and there’s no self-motivation in it at all.”

When controversy does arise, Edward said he and his father have seen their business take hits because people will get mad and take it out on where they shop.

They have served in public office for the right reasons, Edward said.

Edward Reynolds says two of his main goals will be to try to recruit and retain good, viable jobs in Bainbridge, and to have the general appearance of the city and city properties clean and well-maintained.

“My legacy will be different,” Mayor-elect Reynolds said if citizens may try to compare him and his dad.