HEFLIN — Kim Brown, Cleburne County administrator, is stepping down from her position effective at the end of September.
In her letter to the Cleburne County Commission — obtained through Alabama Open Records Act — dated Aug. 4, Brown cites her work environment over the last several months as one of the deciding factors in her resignation.
Brown, a longtime county employee, became the interim administrator in January 2018 and in July of that year she became the full-time administrator, succeeding former county Administrator Steve Swafford.
“Although my 16 years with Cleburne County have been satisfying overall, the work environment has continued to decline over the recent months. Unclear and inconsistent expectations, and the inability of the Commission to see my value played a role in my decision,” Brown wrote in her letter.
“It is with a heavy heart that I say good-bye, I will greatly miss my team at the mountain center who have become like family,” she wrote.
Brown said in her letter that she will work until her replacement is found but not past Sept. 30.
When reached by phone on Thursday Ryan Robertson, Cleburne County commission chairman, confirmed the commission received Brown’s resignation letter.
“The commission has not had a chance to address it but they are all aware,” Robertson said.
Robertson said the letter was a surprise, however, if Brown had turned in her resignation a month ago it would not have been a surprise.
“I thought things were better,” said Robertson.
“I know that she’s a very intelligent, skilled and educated person and I know that I’m aware that she’s been offered other positions in other places,” he said.
“I thought that maybe she had decided to stay where she was. I was a little caught off guard because I thought she had gotten past that point,” said Robertson.
Robertson said the commissioners will have to talk about Brown’s resignation and then see what their plan of action is.
“Kim is very professional, she is saying she is willing to stay through the budget process which will end Sept. 30,” said Robertson.
“I feel like she’s a very straight up person and she’ll do the right thing and has done the right thing, she’s done a fine job with the county,” said Robertson.
Swafford, Brown’s predecessor, worked for Cleburne County for 25 years, 17 of them in the position of executive/administrator for the county.
In a message to the Star, Swafford had some thoughts about the upcoming vacancy.
“It is the responsibility of any organization to make sure they conduct themselves in a way that is conducive to their ability to recruit quality applicants. In addition, care should be given to make sure the organization has resiliency so it can sustain itself during the absence of one individual, regardless of at what level the vacancy occurs,” Swafford wrote.
“No baseball team wants to find itself in the position of having no pitchers in the bullpen, without credibility, and no ability to recruit quality pitching. You don’t win many games when you’re relying on the mascot or the ball boy to pitch,” wrote Swafford.