DULUTH (AP) -- The president of the financially troubled Great Lakes Aquarium here has resigned as the attraction prepares to shut down for the winter in an effort to save money.
Ann Glumac's decision came a week after the city seized control of the aquarium and ordered its temporary closure Sunday.
"Because my vision for the future of the aquarium is different from the course the aquarium is now pursuing, it's appropriate for me to step aside," Glumac said Wednesday. She wouldn't elaborate further on the decision.
Glumac, 43, announced the decision at an aquarium board meeting Tuesday. Her last day is Sunday. She said she does not have another job lined up.
Duluth Mayor Gary Doty, board members and city officials have publicly praised Glumac's work throughout the aquarium's tumultuous two-year ride. But privately, some city leaders and aquarium-watchers have said Glumac should probably not be chosen to lead the organization once it reopens in the spring.
Glumac knew she was taking over an attraction with huge budget problems, steeply declining attendance and unpaid construction debt, board members said.
"She knew there were big challenges and accepted that challenge," said Duluth City Councilor Ken Hogg, who sits on the aquarium board. "I think if I was in that position, I think it would be a good time to leave."
Laura Zahn, who left the aquarium as public relations director in February, said there was a lot of finger-pointing in the community about the aquarium's finances.
"I firmly believe there was never any one instance or any accumulation of instances that point to mismanagement," said Zahn, who has known Glumac for 15 years.
Given the history of other aquariums across the country, its future was almost predestined, she said. "I'm not sure anyone could have done a better job," Zahn said.
Glumac's departure will leave a deep void of institutional knowledge as task force members try to correct problems at the attraction, board members said.
"Ann's dedication and enthusiasm and commitment to the future success has been extremely important in trying to overcome the difficulties the aquarium has had," said Hogg. "It will be difficult to achieve (success) without the important contributions she's made."
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