Neepawa's Economic Development Officer (EDO) and former acting CAO Rick Donaldson has left office. In an email interview this past Friday, Neepawa Mayor Ken Waddell confirmed Donaldson's resignation has been received and will be reviewed by council at its next meeting. Mayor Waddell noted no reason was given for the resignation. No comment was made on the process that will be taken to begin the search for a new EDO, but in the short-term newly hired CAO Richard Beachey will be filling in the now vacant EDO's position, Mayor Waddell confirmed. Donaldson had been employed by the Town of Neepawa as EDO for just over three years. For several months in 2012 Donaldson had also taken on the position of acting CAO. In 2012, Donaldson had been commended by council on several occasions for his work and workload taken on as acting CAO, for his role in working with potential East View Lodge developers and for his due diligence and efforts toward the Town's acquisition of the 'CN Property' for future developments. Donaldson had also been actively working to continue bringing residential developments to Neepawa and had said he worked with about 38 developers on a regular basis. In the past year, Donaldson had helped lead the Town to development agreements with Zen Developments for a 24-unit project, a 32-unit condo deal with a Steinbach-based company as well as several other developments. At council meetings in 2012, Donaldson was also commended on multiple occasions for his leadership in the Town office. With Neepawa's population increase and continued increase expected, Mayor Waddell has said in recent weeks that the town will need as many as 500 more homes in the coming years to accomodate the growth. East View Lodge's demolition and development process is also expected to occur this year, while the CN property project appears to be in its latter stages. When asked if Donaldson's resignation is a major setback to the Town's progress on those projects, Mayor Waddell said, “No”. The EDO's departure follows the departures of former CAO Alison Bardsley in 2011, as well as acting CAO Pat Martin in 2012. Mayor Waddell had no comment when asked if council sees the loss of these three employees as an indicator that council needs to adjust the way it conducts itself internally. Mayor Waddell also had no comment regarding Donaldson's contributions to the Town during his tenure as EDO. The resignation will be reviewed at council, Mayor Waddell noted.