County commissioners disagree on swipe at Hobby

Decatur County Commissioners at their April 22, 2014 meeting
Decatur County Commissioners at their April 22, 2014 meeting
Decatur County Commissioners at their April 22, 2014 meeting

At the Decatur County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, April 22, Commissioner Russell Smith used his comment time at the end of the meeting to directly ask County Attorney Brown Moseley “Who directs the county attorney to make open records requests?’

The county attorney said he acts at the direction of county commissioners; Smith stated he was not aware of directing the county attorney to present the City of Bainbridge an open records request on April 15. The request concerned the household utility records of City Manager Chris Hobby. Last Wednesday, The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight reported that the city manager had accrued significant past-due utility bills between 2011-2013 and was apparently allowed to “catch up” with his payments at a later date.

Commissioner Smith said he personally believed that the county’s decision to make an open records request regarding Hobby’s bills was a personal attack in response to the county government losing the city’s garbage business. The county attorney made the open records request a couple of hours before the Bainbridge City Council met on April 15 and voted to move the city’s waste disposal from the Decatur County Landfill to a landfill operated by Waste Management in Campbellton, Fla.

Smith and Commissioner Butch Mosely both said they felt city and county officials needed to work together better. Commissioner Jan Godwin said that she had received an email shortly before the April 22 meeting from Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds. Godwin said Mayor Reynolds invited commissioners to meet with the City Council at a Memorial Hospital classroom to talk next Tuesday, April 29. Godwin said she personally planned to go.

Commission Chairman Frank Loeffler said that if city and county officials couldn’t work together going forward, then he would be in favor of the governments consolidating.

After the meeting was adjourned, asked Loeffler about the open records request. In a 4:20 recording, which you can hear below, Loeffler said the county attorney acted on the consensus of the commissioners, which included himself.

Loeffler said The Post-Searchlight made a separate open records request on Hobby’s utility bills and published an article before county officials actually received their response to the open records request. However, Loeffler stated that if the newspaper had not published an article, county officials would have presented the information to local media in an attempt to bring Hobby’s past due bills to public attention. Loeffler claimed that county officials had known about the bills for “2-3 months” but only acted recently after they felt confident the rumor was true.


  1. The “concensus” really meant to say this – ‘We are tired of playing defense and we are going on the offense” which is what the good chairman said the next morning after the “concensus” also told the City they were banned from using the landfill.

  2. I bet I know exactly which 3 Commissioners and the County Attorney and County Administrator make up the “concensus”.

  3. The commissioners again have shown that they act in a wreckless manner. Two had no idea of the request and the Chairman said they acted in a consensus. It sounds more like Attorney Mosley and commissioner Leoffler made the calls to the ones that would agree and made the decision with the good old buddy system. What a bunch of fine politicians. Charge the citizens of Bainbridge more for trash than other cities and then cover by trashing city manager. Nice play. I hope you enjoyed your time in office.

  4. I’d like for one commissioner to have the cajones to stand up and say which commissioners agreed to this, how it benefited the tax payers of Decatur County, and how many hours were billed to the county for this “service” by the Attorney Mosley. And if they can’t justify it, the decision makers should pick up the tab! I swear it blows my mind how folks act when they get a little power……..

  5. Unless I am mistaken, Oliver Sellars has said publicly he had no knowledge and gave no consent. Jan Godwin said she didnt recall giving consent. Russell Smith said he didnt give consent. So, that only leaves Butch, Loeffler, and Brinson. Is 3 of 6 consensus ? The shame of it all is that when the motion was made to allow the city to dump at the landfill, in the Commission meeting, only two commissioners voted yes. Shame, shame, shame.

  6. Well, there is someone has to figure in the cost of the newely built building,city crews doing the work(it costs to run machinery and employee wear and tear on trucks and front end loaders etc..) seems like more fuzzy math to me.

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