Hobby given reprimand

Published 8:07 pm Friday, May 13, 2011

Chris Hobby

Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby was given a written reprimand on Friday from Mayor Edward Reynolds in regards to an incident on May 2.

According to a copy of the letter obtained by The Post-Searchlight, the reprimand concerns Hobby’s actions at a city staff meeting on Monday, May 2 at City Hall.

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During the meeting, Hobby and Public Safety Director Larry Funderburke had an argument that resulted with “[Hobby] yelling at [Funderburke] and ordering him out of the meeting.” Mayor Reynolds also wrote that Hobby’s repeated cursing during the incident made the situation worse.

The letter did not refer to what the argument was about. The city’s six division heads hold a weekly update/planning meeting; it was there that Hobby and Funderburke “lost their tempers,” in the words of Mayor Reynolds.

“You have acknowledged to me your complete understanding as to how inappropriate your conduct was,” Reynolds wrote. “A reoccurrence of that type [of] conduct in the future will result in the City Council reviewing the facts.”

“If the Council finds the facts of any future occurrence to be the same or similar conduct as in the May 2 staff meeting, the repercussions will be severe,” Reynolds wrote in closing.

Funderburke has announced he plans to retire at the end of 2011 after having served on the Bainbridge police force since the 1970s.

Hobby has been city manager of Bainbridge since Jan. 1, 2003. He served as assistant city manager under former City Manager Charles Tyson between 2001-2003. Hobby previously served as the city manager of Colquitt, Ga., before coming to Bainbridge.

The Mayor and council evaluate the performance of the city manager in a closed session held each year during their annual retreat. This year’s retreat was held March 18-19, with the council giving Hobby a favorable evaluation.