Remembering Phil Long

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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City councilman Phil Long passed away last Wednesday at the age of 63, with his funeral being held Tuesday at Black Jack Baptist Church Cemetery. Born July 12, 1959, and raised in Bainbridge by parents Ben and Joan Griffin Long, Councilman Long graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1977 and would go on to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, where he would earn an associate’s degree. He married his wife, Diane Hall, in 1990.

Long was elected to the city council in 2009, taking the oath of office in 2010. Many members of city government, including his fellow council members, attended the funeral, with some sharing their thoughts on his life with the Post Searchlight.

“Phil was more than a city councilman; he was a close friend,” city manager Chris Hobby said. “He embodied what it meant to be a civil servant,” he continued, describing him as a “humble servant leader.” “His loss will be felt.”

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Fellow council member Roslyn Palmer also shared her thoughts about Long and her view of his role on the council. “I’ve been on the council longer than Phil,” she said, “but I always considered him a mentor.” She stated her appreciation for his advice and insights. “We’ll miss him as a council, and I’ll miss him as a mentor and a friend.”

Mayor Edward Reynolds also had favorable things to say about his friend. He echoed Hobby and Palmer’s sentiments about his importance to the council, “His leadership will be missed on our council. He’s someone who thought about the city and the citizens.” Mayor Reynolds praised Long for his business acumen, which he used in managing the city budget and taxes. He also recalled his love and support of sports and the Rec Department, saying, “He was always a big supporter of sports and youth sports.”

In light of Councilman Long’s passing, a special election to fill his seat will be held at a yet-to-be-determined date.