BAXTER -- After five years working for the city of Baxter, Todd Holman is leaving for a position with the Minnesota Nature Conservancy.
Holman, hired as Baxter's city planner and recently given the title of community development director, handed in his letter of resignation Thursday. He is leaving the city to be the Nature Conservancy's program director.
His resignation was discussed Monday during a Baxter City Council workshop.
Holman said he wasn't looking for another job, but when he learned that the program director would be open, he submitted an application.
Todd Holman has accepted a position with the Minnesota Nature Conservancy.
"I thought this would be a great opportunity," Holman said. "The Nature Conservancy has been an organization I've always admired and thought highly of and this is an opportunity for me to apply my background to that position, to see if I'm the right fit."
Holman said he will continue to live in Baxter and will commute to the Nature Conservancy's Cushing offices.
"We love the schools, the school district and we love the town," Holman said.
While he is looking forward to new challenges of his position with the Nature Conservancy, Holman said he will miss working for the city of Baxter.
"This has been an outstanding team of professionals, both on the commissions, the council and the staff," Holman said. "But I believe that's what I'm going to as well. I think the level of activity is going to be high there, too."
When he learned of Holman's resignation Friday, Baxter Mayor Gary Muehlhausen said he was shocked. He said Baxter is losing one of its biggest assets.
"He's a wealth of knowledge, a hard worker and he worked well with the council," Muehlhausen said. "I don't want to see him go, but that's life."
Holman, who served for three years as Crow Wing County Planning and Zoning Administrator, started with Baxter in 1999. He has had a hand in thousands of projects within the city, but the ones he is most proud of include the city's trail system and amendments to several ordinances, including those relating to city signs and septic systems.
"The volume has been so huge and everybody works so hard," he said of Baxter staffers. "There's been no light load in any department."
Holman's last day is Sept. 17. At a city council workshop Monday, Dennis Coryell, city administrator, said the city has started advertising for Baxter's position and has already received two applications. In the interim, Holman said he would continue to help the city when he could and Coryell said the city could look at hiring an interim planner.
"We can cover this real quick. He's not going anywhere," said Muehlhausen jokingly when the issue of Holman's replacement came onto the agenda.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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