SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -One of the leaders in the battle to save Lake Tahoe's clarity, Jim Baetge plans to leave his position as executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency next year.
"I don't want to leave the job at all. I love it," he said.
In February, Baetge had surgery to remove a kidney and, with the many demands of the position, has been unable to fully recover.
"The job is very, very demanding. I haven't been able to get my strength back to appropriately perform the job," Baetge said.
He has served in the agency's top position since May 1994 and has served in that capacity longer than any of his predecessors. He was involved during the 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum and played a major role in the agency's development of the environmental improvement program, which outlines $900 million worth of projects that need to be implemented by 2007.
Baetge said he would concentrate on getting environment projects under way and trying to generate revenue for the work. After leaving the position, he will continue to live at his South Shore residence and stay involved in Tahoe issues.