Peter Herlofsky Jr., Crow Wing County administrator, received a letter last week he said he hoped was not true.
The letter announced the resignation of Bonnie Finnerty, Crow Wing County planner, effective Nov. 12. Herlofsky said he tried to get Finnerty to change her mind before accepting the resignation.
"I was not excited about it," Herlofsky said. "I'm disappointed I didn't do a better job of keeping her here. The (comprehensive) plan would not have been completed if it would not have been for a lot of her efforts."
Finnerty served as the county's water planner before taking on the county planner's role in a restructuring of the planning and zoning department. Planning and zoning has been without a department head since its administrator, Dean Williams, resigned in May 2002.
Finnerty has another job lined up, although Herlofsky said he could not be more specific. Finnerty did not return calls to her office Monday afternoon. She did not state a reason for her resignation in a letter to the county.
"She's worked very hard over the last year and may be a little burned out," Herlofsky said. "And sometimes she tried to do more than anyone could accomplish. She is really going to be missed."
Terry Sluss, Crow Wing County Board chairman, said Finnerty's departure does leave the county in a bit of a lurch as ordinance revisions and updates are in progress.
"It's a terrible loss for us," Sluss said. "We really relied quite heavily on her for our new ordinance and for the comp plan and her loss will be significant. She's been an extremely good employee. We wish her the best."
Sluss said filling the planner's position will be discussed at the next county board meeting. He said the talks are expected to cover whether a planner is needed or if a department head may be a preferred option.
"I couldn't predict what direction the board will go on that," Sluss said.
Planning and zoning currently operates with four staff members handling specific areas -- planning, administration, enforcement and inspections.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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