Baltimore County's economic development chief resigns

Baltimore County's head of economic development has resigned, county officials confirmed Tuesday.

Daniel C. Gundersen turned in his resignation Monday and did not specify a reason, spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said.

Gundersen had been on leave for about a month. In an email to The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, he said that a "big part of my job was to help the county gain traction."

"With that done, it just feels like the right time for me to move on," Gundersen wrote.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz appointed Gundersen, a former commissioner of New York state's Department of Economic Development, in 2011. From 2000 to 2003, he was Maryland's assistant secretary of business and economic development.

In a statement, Kamenetz said Gundersen "took on the tough assignments and each time he succeeded." He credited Gundersen with developing the county's first comprehensive economic strategic plan and helping to reform liquor license laws.

Gundersen also helped support workers at the Sparrows Point steel mill, which closed last year, and led the county's efforts to begin thinking of ways to redevelop the peninsula, the county executive said.

"Baltimore County was fortunate to have one of the most experienced economic development professionals in the country working for us," Kamenetz said. "Dan played a key role in helping the county come out of the economic recession in strong shape. During Dan's tenure, the county saw over $1.5 billion of new retail, residential and commercial construction take place or be announced."

Helga Weschke is serving as acting director until a replacement is named, Kobler said. Weschke had previously served as chief of the department's division of business development.

Gundersen replaced David Iannucci, whom Kamenetz declined to reappoint upon taking office in 2010.

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