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Longtime Burleigh County Auditor/Treasurer Kevin Glatt is stepping down effective mid-December.

Glatt submitted his resignation to the county commission late Thursday afternoon. His one-sentence letter cited state law regarding the proper way for an elected official to resign and said his resignation would be effective Dec. 14.

Glatt offered no reason for his decision in the letter. A landline telephone listing for him was disconnected, a cellphone number couldn't immediately be found, and no one answered the door at his home. A request sent to his office email account generated an out-of-office reply.

Commission Chairman Brian Bitner declined comment. Commissioners who did speak said they were not privy to Glatt's reasons, though Commissioner Kathleen Jones did say Glatt was not “forced out” of his position and that she had heard he was looking for a “change in life.”

“He’s been there for over 30 years," Jones said. "And we the county have begun the process of looking for a county administrator, and I think this will give us the opportunity to rethink what we have versus what we need.” 

County Human Resources Director Tammy Terras in June proposed creating a county administrator position that would essentially help manage daily operations of departments.

Terras also presented a proposal to the commission to amend the county's home rule charter to move the elected auditor/treasurer and recorder to appointed positions, to help ensure expertise in the complex county offices. The process would require Burleigh County voters' approval in the June 2020 primary, followed by a resolution and planning by the commission with a public hearing -- similar to when the auditor and treasurer positions were combined in 2002.

Whether Glatt approved of such a move wasn't immediately apparent, though he said at the time that he sees "a natural progression" in moving to appointed positions, calling it "an evolution, not a revolution."

Jones said the commission is working to prepare a June 2020 ballot item.

Meanwhile, County Finance Director Clyde Thompson also has plans to retire. Jones said she doesn’t know when he will leave his position. He is currently on sick leave until November, she said.

Glatt was elected Burleigh County auditor in 1986, at age 26, and was re-elected to three more four-year terms. In 2002 he was elected auditor/treasurer when the positions were combined, and he's currently serving his fifth term. He was last re-elected in 2018, when he ran unopposed.

"He will be missed," Commissioner Mark Armstrong said. "Anytime you have someone in a position like that for that long, it presents challenges to replace him and opportunities as well. I wish him well and appreciate his government service to the citizens of our county."

Before entering public office, Glatt worked in his family's hospitality businesses in Bismarck. He's a Bismarck native who holds degrees in accounting and German from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., and a master's in public administration from the University of North Dakota. Kevin and his wife, Lee Ann, have two grown children.

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Reach Andy Tsubasa Field at 701-250-8264 or andy.field@bismarcktribune.com.

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City Government Reporter