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Dunn moving to HRA helm

2/16/2017 Featured in the Post-Bulletin on February 9, 2017

Olmsted County Assistant Planning Director David Dunn is switching focus.

"It's like trying to catch a car while it's moving," he said of his transition to become Olmsted County's Housing and Redevelopment Authority executive director on Feb. 22.

Dunn replaces Cheryl Jacobson, who resigned after two years to work for the Mendota Heights city manager's office. The move comes after 2 1/2 years after Dunn started working with the local planning department staff.

"They made the decision to transition over to the HRA a very difficult one for me," he said. "However, housing has always been a passion of mine and when the opportunity was made available to me to lead the HRA, I felt it was too perfect to pass up."

Planning Department Director Mitzi Baker said the change create a vacancy in her already-stretched department, but she said it also comes with an advantage for the county since Dunn has a strong background in housing, as well as in-depth knowledge of local planning efforts.

"That's a great opportunity for Dave and our department to work together," she said.

The housing department was once part of the planning department, but moved under the wing of community services in recent years.

Since that switch, Jacobson helped lead efforts to establish an Olmsted County HRA levy in 2016 and modify the board to oversee $1.35 million in funds collected. The levy targets three general areas: homelessness prevention and housing stability; housing development; and housing rehabilitation.

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