Mayor names new Warner Robins public information officer

WARNER ROBINS -- Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen has named Ruby Hamb-Holmes, an employee in the recreation department, as the city’s new public information officer.

“I couldn’t pick a better person to be the PIO (public information officer) for the city of Warner Robins,” Shaheen said in a phone message. “Her job will be to work close with the media, to become transparent in city government and to promote functions going on in our city.”

Wednesday’s appointment was part of a compromise City Council made last month while approving the fiscal 2013 budget.

Shaheen wanted to hire a new person at a cost of $43,000, but council members agreed $15,000 could be used to give an existing employee the new responsibilities.

Hamb-Holmes’ new salary was not immediately available.

Hamb-Holmes has worked with the city since 2010 as the program director for the Recreation Department. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and a doctorate in divinity.

She is also a certified grant writer, which Shaheen has said he wants in City Hall.

“I haven’t done much with it,” Hamb-Holmes said. “Hopefully, I can now.”

Jim Elliott, city attorney, said he wasn’t sure whether council must approve the appointment.

Councilmen Mike Brashear, Mike Daley and Daron Lee said they don’t yet know Hamb-Holmes well but have heard good things about her.

Brashear and Lee said they have worked well with her on a couple of recreation ventures.

“She’s very personable from what I’ve seen,” Lee said. “I’m sure she will do a great job.”

Shaheen said Hamb-Holmes will be outfitted with an iPhone, like other city department heads. Hamb-Holmes said the details of her responsibilities are still being ironed out.

“There are so many wonderful things the city has that are hidden,” Hamb-Holmes said. “I want to bring those out.”