Chester losing its city administrator

Cites hardship selling Horry County home

CHESTER -- Chester City Administrator David Mobley resigned Monday, less than a year after he took the position.

Citing his inability to sell his home in Loris and to find suitable housing in Chester, Mobley said in a letter to the Chester City Council that "economics have forced me to make this decision."

The announcement, first reported on The Herald's Web site, was made during Monday night's council meeting, which Mobley did not attend.

Mobley could not be reached for comment.

For nearly a year, Mobley drove from Loris to Chester on Mondays, stayed the week in the city and left on Fridays for his Horry County home.

"The commute to and from Loris is costing over $100 dollars per week, not counting the cost of dining out and monthly rent," his letter states. "I have enjoyed my relationship with this council and the residents of Chester. The City of Chester employees are some of the best I have ever had a chance to work with."

Chester Mayor Mitch Foster said Mobley's resignation wasn't surprising because he knew about the departing administrator's struggles to sell his house.

"He and I had a great working relationship," Foster said. "We wish him well."

City Councilwoman Linda Tinker echoed those thoughts.

"I understand it, but it's sad," she said of Mobley leaving. "I think he did a wonderful job."

Foster said the city will review its job description for the administrator's position to see if any changes need to be made. He said he's going to recommend that the council wait until January to advertise the post.

As city administrator, Mobley was responsible for supervising department heads and managing the city's $5.1 million budget. He was being paid $70,000 a year.

A Union native, Mobley began working with the city in December 2006 after serving as the city administrator in Loris for 2 1/2 years. His background includes a variety of jobs, ranging from private investigator to sheriff's deputy.

Before Mobley came to the city, Chester has been without an administrator for about six months, following the City Council's decision to fire Mike Phillips, who had served two years.