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Special election to fill Sorrow's seat in Morrow

By Joel Hall

Morrow City Councilman Charles Sorrow has resigned, due to health complications. In two months' time, the city will hold a special election to fill his unexpired term on the council.

Qualifying for the special election will take place between Wednesday, Feb. 10, and Friday, Feb. 12, at the Morrow Municipal Complex, located at 1500 Morrow Road, in Morrow. Those wishing to seek the at-large post, can qualify from 8:30 a.m., to noon, and from 1 to 4:30 p.m., on all three days of the qualifying period.

The special election will take place on March 16. The polls will be open from 7 a.m., to 7 p.m., on election day.

According to members of his family, Sorrow, 78, has been struggling to deal with Parkinson's disease for at least the last two years of his council service. Dorothy Sorrow, Charles Sorrow's wife of 54 years, said he was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, also.

"He would say that everything is fine, everything is fine, but everything wasn't fine," said Mrs. Sorrow. "He went to the council meetings many times when he could hardly sit up. I don't know how he made it through. He would be so sick when he came home, because it just took so much out of him. They [the city council] did have meetings over the phone, but he didn't have the body strength to make it over to the meetings. A couple of weeks ago, we officially signed [for his] resignation."

Mrs. Sorrow said her husband, a retired computer systems manager for Delta Air Lines, currently has Stage 4 Parkinson's disease, and that his ability to move and perform certain tasks is limited.

"He is not quite bedridden, yet, but he can barely get out of bed," Mrs. Sorrow said. "His feet can barely go three or four inches. We're still breathing and eating, and moving a little bit."

Morrow Mayor Jim Millirons said Sorrow has been a key figure in Morrow politics since 1975, when Millirons was serving as city manager. He said that in 1975, Sorrow began serving on the city's Planning and Zoning Board and started serving on the council in the early 1980s.

"It was sometime in 2009 [when members of the city council discovered Sorrow had Parkinson's disease]," Millirons said. "You have varying degrees of it ... Some people can function very well with the proper medication. It just turned out that he had the worst of it. His family thought it was in his best interest [to resign]," Millirons said. "Dorothy had general power of attorney and she made the request."

Millirons said that in the more than 20 years Sorrow served on the council, he helped guide the city's finances, as well as its development. He said the staff at city hall is continuing to adjust to his absence.

"They love and respect him tremendously," Millirons said. "I think a central theme would be how truly dedicated this man has been to the city over the years. You could count on Charles doing what was right. We need more public-service people like him."