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Rob Hunter Out As Watershed Commissioner | News

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Rob Hunter Out As Watershed Commissioner
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ATLANTA -- Atlanta Watershed Management Commissioner Rob Hunter, the source of many angry e-mails to 11Alive News, will be leaving that position by the end of the week.

Hunter announced his resignation on Tuesday, but he will remain as a technical advisor on various issues, including a court-ordered overhaul of the city's water and sewer systems.

"I came to the city ... to implement the federally mandated consent decrees, manage the $4 billion capital program and organize the Department of Watershed Management," Hunter said in a prepared statement. "By the end of the year, I will have substantially accomplished those goals."

Hunter's time as commissioner has been marked by increasing anger on the part of many local residents, who have said that Hunter and the Department of Watershed Management have ignored significant billing problems and claims of overcharging on water bills.

Hunter had been commissioner since July 2003. He first joined the Department of Watershed Management as deputy commissioner in October 2002.

Peter Aman, Atlanta's chief operating officer, praised Hunter for keeping the water-sewer projects moving on schedule and under budget, improving the Water & Sewer Fund's bond rating in the process.

But Hunter's tenure also has seen a rash of complaints from city water customers accusing the agency of overbilling. Atlanta is in the third year of a four-year increase in water and sewer rates to help pay for the improvements.

Aman said that Dexter White, recently appointed deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Works, will succeed Hunter as interim commissioner of watershed management.

"With Rob's departure, we are working to ensure the steady transition of leadership at the Department of Watershed Management," Aman said. "I have the utmost confidence in Dexter White and his abilities to lead this department."

Four out of six deputy commissioners have also resigned: Shiela Pierce, Sally Mills, Debra Henson and Chris Hebberd.

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