The Brookhaven City Council thanked two employees at its Oct. 25 meeting for their service to the city.

Community Development Director Ben Song and Arborist Kay Evanovich have resigned their posts to take positions with other municipalities — Song is going to work for Gwinnet County and Evanovich for the city of Decatur.

Ben Song. (City of Brookhaven)

“You have served the city well and I want to commend you for your service,” Mayor John Ernst said to Song, who was attending his last meeting Thursday.

“It’s definitely been a pleasure serving the city and the residents,” Song said.

Councilmember Joe Gebbia praised Song for being a “phenomenal asset” the city and Councilmember John Park said he had “gone above and beyond expectations.” Councilmember Linley Jones said Gwinnett County was gaining a “tremendous asset.”

Song’s last day is Oct. 26. He began working for the city in 2013 as the Planning & Zoning Manager and was promoted to Deputy Director of Community Development in Feburary 2014. He took over the director’s job in September 2014.

Evanovich was not at the meeting, but Ernst praised her for her service and she received accolades from the council as well.

Georgia Forestry Commission Director Robert Farris, right, congratulates Kay Evanovich, center, and Murray Nicol for helping Brookhaven become a Tree City USA community in February. (City of Brookhaven)

“She is going to be another hard person to replace,” Ernst said.

Councilmember Bates Mattison said Evanovich was like a “life preserver” as the new city’s arborist while officials figured out a tree ordinance.

“She is responsible for putting the city on the right path,” he said.

City Manager Christian Sigman also thanked Evanovich and said her work will live on in the city.

“We will really miss Kay. Her technical knowledge of tree issues and her passion for the city’s tree canopy were a real asset for the city of Brookhaven,” he said in a statement. “Kay’s efforts to protect the tree canopy will be seen for generations to come. As the new city manager, I really appreciated Kay’s proactive efforts on many issues. I am confident she will do well in her next profession endeavor.”

Sigman praised Song’s leadership during the city’s formative years.

“Ben was a key member of the management team. His steady leadership during these formative years of establishing a new city will be missed,” he said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

No decision has been made on how or when these positions will be filled, according to spokesperson Ann Marie Quill. Deputy Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin is interim director in the transition, and the city’s two land development inspectors are also certified arborists, she said.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.