Corning City Manager Steve Kimbrough was given a five-day suspension resulting from conduct he displayed in e-mail communication.

Kimbrough sent a harsh message through e-mail to a local business owner, claiming that the artists of a city mural design were amateurs.

What was meant to be a statement was instead taken as a judgmental remark. Kimbrough said he is grateful they value him enough to let him keep his job.

“The council made their point quickly and clearly. I screwed up,” Kimbrough said.

This was the second time Kimbrough has been in hot water over inappropriate remarks communicated through e-mails. Previously Kimbrough disciplined a citizen by e-mail regarding the way the resident handled a complaint against a member of the city staff.

“Like a fool I sent it. I did it again. The council pulled me back with the appropriate discipline,” Kimbrough said. “It is great relationship that functions very well. The mayor is outstanding, and the city council is as well.”

Knowing the business owner for 15 years, Kimbrough said, “Had I called before I sent the e-mail there would not be a problem. We need more murals and more improvement in the downtown area.”

Kimbrough prides himself on putting together concise messages, but in the case of e-mails it is very easy to write it out and send it, not realizing its tone, he said.

Although acknowledging his mistake and taking full responsibility for it, Kimbrough said, “Show me a manager who makes no mistake and I’ll show you some one who does nothing.”

As city manager for 17 years, Kimbrough said there is not a problem between himself, the council and the mayor. He said it is necessary for cities to check the manager’s authority.

His suspension will begin on Oct. 26.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at