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Fifty Lakes planning and zoning administrator resigns

Fifty Lakes Planning and Zoning Administrator Gordy Reller announced his resignation at the city council's July 8 meeting, according to draft minutes.

Reller said he will stay on the job through the Tuesday, Sept. 9 regular council meeting to give the council time to find a replacement.

In a phone interview on Friday, July 25, Reller said the best part about the job has been working with people.

"I've always been involved in government because I like meeting people and working with them if possible," he said. "I certainly thank all the citizens of Fifty Lakes."

Although he did not attribute anything in particular as a reason for his resignation, Reller said he is frustrated by the lack of resident participation in local government.

"I have some concerns with all cities' governments, citizen participation," he said. "If more people were interested in what is going on in their city or county ... we'd be better off."

Reller added, "Generally, of the population or membership, 15-20 percent of people do a majority of the work."

He said he understood that people, particularly young people, are busy with families and other obligations, but noted other cities have developed programs aimed at increasing interest and participation.

Reller, 65, and his wife, Susan, retired in the area and have since become involved in the community in several ways. Susan is a member of the Crosslake-Ideal Lions Club and volunteers at the Crosslake Community Center. Reller said he has worked for the city of Fifty Lakes for around 10 years, previously serving in a similar role in Manhattan Beach, and is also involved in the Pine River Watershed Alliance and with the Crosslake-Ideal Lions scholarship program. He said he plans to continue working with those organizations and also hopes to spend more time outdoors, woodworking and fishing.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Perkins interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins, and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before becoming the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as the county government beat reporter at the Dispatch and a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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