Kingsport mayor's missing phone number just an oversight

Matthew Lane • Jun 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Mayor Dennis Phillips would like to assure the people of Kingsport he is not trying to hide his phone number from the public.

As with every year, Embarq recently sent out thousands of new phone books and yellow pages to its customers in the Tri-Cities region. Unfortunately, Phillips’ home phone number did not make it in the new edition. The number is available at City Hall and ironically, through directory assistance 411.

“Somehow I just don’t think my phone will stop ringing just because I’m not in the book,” he said.

Phillips, who has had the same home number for 25 years, recently switched from Embarq to Charter Communications phone service and thought that might be the reason why his number was omitted.

“I would say what’s happened, if you want my guess, is somewhere between the time we bought the package deal from Charter and left Embarq the phone book was being printed, and probably Charter didn’t get them the number. That’s just a wild guess,” Phillips said.

Nick Pavlis, director of government relations for Charter, said once a year Charter sends Embarq its list of phone numbers for publication in the Embarq phone book. This year, Pavlis said there were three numbers not properly recorded, one of which was Phillips’.

“We did go back and look, and those numbers slipped through the cracks. Any time you’re dealing with humans, something like that could happen,” Pavlis said, apologizing for the error. “One time is too many though.”

Even though Phillips said about 95 percent of the calls he receives are on his cell phone, he sent an e-mail out last week letting people know the exclusion was not his doing and that he did not have his home number unlisted.

“I just didn’t want people to think I had anything to do with my phone number not being in the phone book,” Phillips said. “My only concern was I try to be very accessible to people. I could mess up enough on myself, I don’t need Embarq or Charter to help me.”

Phillips’ home phone number is 247-4961.

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