Bob Horne: I Was Not Pressured to Resign

By Beacon Staff

Whitefish City Planning and Building Director Bob Horne said that he resigned last week not because of rumors or controversy, but to pursue other interests.

He announced his resignation at a city council meeting on May 7, ending a two-year stint as the first director of Whitefish’s young planning department. He acknowledged that some in the community considered him a “divisive, polarizing figure.”

“I don’t think that’s true,” he said. “The divisiveness was already there,” referring to a discord between those who favor lightly regulated development and those who support heavier growth control.

He said he’s heard rumors that he was pressured to resign.

“There are a lot of rumors, but they’re rumors, not reasons,” he said. “… I was not forced out. I stepped down because I wanted to step down.”

He mentioned that he also knows of more creative rumors, like that he’s gay and hates women, both of which he laughed at.

He stressed that he and City Manager Gary Marks agreed after thorough discussion that Horne could step down and begin working for his wife’s business, Applied Communications, a move Horne said he has considered for some time. By contract, he will continue to oversee the development of Whitefish’s growth policy.

“I’m 56 years old and I’ve been doing this for 35 years,” he said. “I needed a change.”