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Browning resigning as Morrow city clerk to be closer to family in Florida

Her first grandchild is expected next summer

MORROW — Officials in Morrow now have a second key position to fill in the city in 2014 following the resignation of City Clerk Evyonne Browning.

Browning submitted her resignation letter to Morrow leaders Friday after four years as the city’s clerk. She will leave her position Jan. 2, she said.

Browning explained she is resigning to move to West Palm Beach, Fla., so she can be close to her son and his wife. She said her son is an Episcopal priest and just got his first head pastor position. She said her son and his wife are expecting their first child next summer.

It will be Browning’s first grandchild and she said she wanted to be around to watch the tyke grow up.

“I can’t not be there with my grandbaby,” said Browning. “I’m not leaving on bad terms. I’m not leaving because of any issues in the city. I’m leaving strictly because I can’t pass this up.”

Browning’s resignation means the council — which is set to welcome two new members in a couple of weeks — will have to search for a new city manager and a new city clerk. The clerk’s duties include serving as the custodian of city records and the administrative assistant for the mayor, council and city manager and serving as elections superintendent.

“She wore a lot of hats,” said former City Manager Jeff Eady, who hired Browning and worked with her until he accepted a job as Forest Park’s public works director last month.

Interim City Manager Chris Leighty said no decision has been made yet about who will replace Browning on an interim basis. He said his plan is to appoint an interim city clerk to serve until a new city manager can be hired. The new manager will then conduct a search for a new clerk, he said.

“I don’t really want to do something that somebody else may come in and undo,” said Leighty.

Although Browning broke the news Friday to City Council members Jeanell Bridges and Bob Huie, as well as Leighty, many people were still finding out Monday. She told several residents and city officials of her plans after a called meeting of the council and Downtown Development Authority Board.

She said she also told Councilman Virlyn Slaton and former Mayor Jim Millirons about her resignation Monday.

She said it was a hard decision to make, but one she felt she had to make.

“I have mixed emotions about it,” said Browning. “I love the city. I love my house. I love being two minutes from work. I’ve got so many friends here, and I still have some family here. My sister and her family still live in Marietta, so I’ll be coming up here on occasion and I’ll keep in contact. It’s not ‘Goodbye.’ It’s just ‘I’ll see ya later.’”

Browning said she realized she wanted to be close to her son and his family after hearing her unborn grandchild’s heartbeat over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was the first time she got to hear the heartbeat, and she said she became overwhelmed with emotion.

“I started to cry,” she said.

But although she will be welcoming her first grandchild, there is one title she said she does not want to her the child call her. That’s because she doesn’t feel she’s not ready to be called by that title.

That title is “Grandma.”

“We’re trying to figure out what the baby will call me, but it will not be grandma,” said Browning.

Eady and Leighty said Browning has been an asset to the city during her time as clerk. Leighty said she has been especially helpful to him as he adjusted to being the interim city manager.

“She is a wealth of knowledge about city government and we sure are going to miss her,” he said.