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Howard has had her fingers on the pulse of Greer's dynamic growth

Planning and Zoning Secretary retires May 1

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Darlene Howard, Planning and Zoning secretary, has attended her final meeting and awaits for May 1 to retire.

Jim Fair

Darlene Howard, Planning and Zoning secretary, has attended her final meeting and awaits for May 1 to retire.



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City Planning and Zoning Coordinator Glenn Pace and Darlene Howard have been side by side for much of the preservation of historical Greer and development of contemporary Greer in business and industry.

Jim Fair

City Planning and Zoning Coordinator Glenn Pace and Darlene Howard have been side by side for much of the preservation of historical Greer and development of contemporary Greer in business and industry.

Darlene Howard is on the move again. Only this time she will be leaving her job as Planning and Zoning secretary to enjoy more time with her family.

Through 15 years of service with the City of Greer, Howard will retire on May 1. She has worked with two city administrators and four department heads.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do when Darlene leaves us,” said Glenn Pace, Planning and Zoning Coordinator. “She has done a terrific job and I’m going to miss her.”

City Council will acknowledge Howard at city council tonight with special recognition of her retirement.

“I’m looking forward to (retirement). I have four grandchildren (two in Georgia and two in Texas). I plan on seeing them a lot,” Howard said.

What Howard has seen is Greer’s boom into a vastly different community than when she arrived at City Hall. Even her work address has changed four times.

“Darlene has seen the real growth of the community,” said Ed Driggers, City Administrator. “She has seen a lot of change and her fingers have been on those changes.”

Howard’s office was a workspace shoehorned into the old Greer Library on Trade Street and moved into the former city hall at the present Greer Heritage Museum. The new municipal complex was one that Howard saw materialize from conception to opening.

Howard’s philosophy has bode well for her throughout the years. “My rule of thumb is unless it is in hand, it’s not happening,” she said.

Little known to many in Greer was Howard’s vision of the origin of the Architectural Board of Review in 1998.  Howard and Greer historian Joada Hiatt convinced the city the integrity of Greer’s historical district needed to be maintained.

“So much was going on downtown and people did not know about our historic district. We wanted to protect our history and downtown,” Howard said. “That board was hard to get going. We started out with ten members and met at the old library.” The board has been stable with five members, including Hiatt, who live or work downtown.

After Howard’s last public appearance at last week’s Planning Advisory Commission meeting, with arms cuddling the planning commission notebook, she thrust her hands in the air and said, “Yea! That was my last meeting. Now all I’ve got to do is to get three sets of minutes done.”

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