Originally created 01/25/03

Reprimand excessive

Not only will the Augusta Commission not give City Administrator George Kolb the authority to hire and fire, they didn't, in Kolb's view, give him the opportunity to defend himself before dumping a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.

Call it Commissioner Marion Williams' revenge. He's had the long knife out for Kolb the last couple of years and he finally got to use it for the way the administrator handled a mutual-aid ambulance contract with Columbia County and for his response to Williams' request about pending personnel evaluations of several city managers.

Although Kolb won't speak publicly about the reprimand, in a letter marked "confidential" sent to the commission this week - the contents of which were obtained by The Chronicle via the open records act - he complained the reprimand was undeserved.

Moreover, he writes, the commission cites no policy or rule that he violated and no commissioner ever talked to him about being dissatisfied with his performance. Nor was he permitted to address the accusations before the letter was placed in his file.

"I was not afforded the same rights that I am expected to give the 2,600 employees of this government," he wrote.

Commissioners Lee Beard, Bobby Hankerson, Richard Colclough, Tommy Boyles, Willie Mays and Andy Cheek joined Williams in delivering the reprimand. It may be that the administrator deserved some kind of criticism, but if he was treated the way he claims, then clearly commissioners went overboard.

Cheek admits Kolb has a point, adding he didn't want the reprimand to go in Kolb's file. Indeed, that's what seems to upset Kolb.

The commission should remove the reprimand from the file. Surely Kolb doesn't deserve to have his career damaged.


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