Bainbridge city manager accrued thousands for unpaid water bills

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, April 17, 2014


Chris Hobby

Bainbridge city manager Chris Hobby was severely delinquent in paying his water and natural gas bills from 2011-2013. Both services are provided by the City of Bainbridge.

Records obtained by The Post-Searchlight show Hobby made one annual payment in each of those years, rather than the required monthly payments.

In September 2011, Hobby made a payment to the city in the amount of $2,525.63 for accrued charges from January of the same year. Water usage, sewer usage, landfill charges, garbage pick-up and late charges account for that total.

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In September 2012 Hobby paid $2,594.71 and in September 2013 Hobby paid $2,350.60. After the 2013 payment, Hobby switched to automatic bank draft payments of his water and gas bills. As of April 7, he has no balance owed, according to the records.

“I messed up,” Hobby said. “I used poor judgment and I sincerely regret making those decisions. I’m human and from time to time, I am going to make mistakes. This will never happen again.”

The city does not have an official, written policy concerning interruption of services due to non-payment, but according to Mayor Edward Reynolds, the city is very liberal when it comes to stopping services for non-payment.

“I talked with Chris about this situation and discussed setting a better example for residents and other employees. We got it resolved and this will not happen going forward,” Reynolds said.

According to the city of Bainbridge budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Hobby makes $113,017 annually.