After Dept. Head Resigns, Mayor’s Office Merges Planning, Economic Development Depts.

DULUTH, Minn. – It was about a month ago when Duluth Mayor Emily Larson announced the resignation of Heather Rand — the city’s Director of Business and Economic Development.

At the time, Larson said the city would be looking for Rand’s replacement.  But just weeks later – almost 30 days to the day on Tuesday – Larson announced that Rand’s old position will not be replaced after all, and that Business and Economic Development will merge with the Planning and Construction Services.

Current Planning Director Keith Hamre will run the newly formed Planning and Economic Development until his retirement in August of 2019.

The mayor’s office says none of the combined 33 employees will lose their job.

Larson believes the new configuration will more effectively serve the business community and future development.

As for pay, the salary or the now former director of business and economic development paid anywhere between $84,000 and $127,000, according to Larson’s spokesperson Pakou Ly.

“The City is in the process of evaluating the new director position and it likely will include small pay increase to appropriately reflect the increased responsibilities,” Ly explained.

But either way, there will be some type of savings with one director position eliminated.

Hamre’s appointment will be up for confirmation by the city council Dec. 10.

For the full press release, click here.

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