EDA director submits resignation

Rhonda Silence

Just a few minutes after the Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) agreed that it needed to pay its director for the additional hours he has been working, Director Matt Geretschlaeger announced his intention to retire.

In an attempt to deal with a budget deficit in May 2009, the EDA cut Geretschlaeger’s hours and pay from 40 hours to 32. Thatcut meant the director was working 4/5th time, in the office four days instead of five. Geretschlaeger’s benefits were cut accordingly. EDA budget woes continued however, and in February 2010, the board was again debating whether it should further reduce the director’s hours—or lay him off altogether. At that time it was decided to ask the director if he would be willing to work just one day a week while the EDA sought a solution to its financial difficulties.

Geretschlaeger has attempted to conduct business in his curtailed hours but has found it very difficult. At the July 13, 2010 board meeting, the board noted his increased hours in the last month and a half. EDA Chair Mike Littfin said the time was justified as the director sought to rectify Cedar Grove Business Park stormwater issues and worked with the state auditor on the annual audit. Littfin asked Geretschlaeger if he preferred to be paid or to take time off at a later date. Geretschlaeger said payment would be preferable.

Geretschlaeger said he has been keeping a log of his office hours, as requested. The board agreed to review the time sheet at a special July 20 meeting.

Director Matt Geretschlaeger then announced his intention to resign, effective January 1, 2011. He said it is very difficult to work on a part-time basis and do the job of EDA director. According to the director’s contract, either party can terminate the director’s services with only a 30-day notice.

In addition to discussing payment for the additional hours that Geretschlaeger has been working, the EDA will meet on July 20 to review costs for a second layer of asphalt at the Cedar Grove Business Park, to hear a marketing presentation by the University of Minnesota EDA Center, and to discuss the EDA’s 2011 budget.

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2010-07-17 digital edition

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