Brookhaven, GA, October 19, 2016 – by Trey Benton – On the heels of Brookhaven’s City Arborist Kay Evanovich turning in her letter of resignation to the City for a position in Decatur last week, Community Development Director Ben Song notified the City on Monday that he will be leaving Brookhaven for a position with Gwinnett County.
Song told The Post Tuesday, the main impetus for his decision to leave his role in Brookhaven is so he can spend more time with his family. He said with all that is going on in Brookhaven, the time commitment is significant.
“A lot of my time is devoted to making Brookhaven a better place and with the addition of more studies and demands of my personal time, especially with evening meetings, I have missed out on spending time with my young children,” said Song. “The past three years at Brookhaven has afforded me with a wealth of local government knowledge and experiences that I would not have been able to obtain in any other local jurisdiction. The time I have spent in Brookhaven has been unprecedented and exciting.”
Back in February of 2013, Song was promoted to Community Development Director when the former Director, Susan Cannon, was promoted to Assistant City Manager under former City Manager Marie Garrett. Song joined the City of Brookhaven originally as the Planning and Zoning Manager shortly after incorporation.
With the City in the throes of working through the process of considering one of the most transformational, impactful and contentious development proposals it will be faced with in the foreseeable future – the MARTA Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Transit Oriented Development – the timing of Song’s resignation isn’t ideal. Couple the MARTA proposal with the Individual Character Area Studies, the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay review and gearing up for the Zoning Code rewrite, Song’s successor will have to get up to speed quickly and hit the ground running.
“Ben was a key member of the management team. His steady leadership during these formative years of establishing a new City will be missed,” City Manager Christian Sigman told The Post. “Ben managed several complex and difficult development issues in the past few years, and always in a professional manner. I am excited for Ben and his family with this next chapter of his professional development. Gwinnett County is gaining a great employee, co-worker and friend.”
As the City prepares to replace Song and Evanovich, Sigman told The Post he will be consulting with the Mayor, City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals members for feedback. He said he has not decided how and when the positions will be filled.
Song’s last day of employment with Brookhaven will be November 4, 2016, which means he will be present for the City Council’s next meeting on October 25th, when MARTA will be back on tap for Council consideration.