CHICAGO -- John Gunyou, Minnesota's finance commissioner for nearly four years, resigned Friday to take a position with public radio in that state.
Gaunyou's resignation, effective Oct. 10, was accepted by Gov. Arne Carlson, who appointed Laura M. King as Gunyou's replacement. King is assistant commissioner for budget services in the state's finance department.
Gunyou will be joining Minnesota Communications Group, the nonprofit parent organization of Minnesota Public Radio, as chief financial officer. He said it was time for him to "move on and give someone else a chance," adding that he had only intended to serve as finance commissioner during the Carlson Administration's first term in office.
"This is by far the most interesting and rewarding thing I've ever done," he said in an interview.
As one of the first appointees chosen by Carlson when the governor took office in 1991, Gunyou was charged with handling most of the state's financial activities, including debt management, revenue forecasting, and budgeting. At the time, Minnesota was facing a $1.1 billion shortfall in its budget for the fiscal 1992-93 biennium and Gunyou was a key player in getting the state's finances in shape.
"It was an intense and stressful job," he said. "And the problems with the state's finances made it even more challenging."
Some called him "Saddam Gunyou" for his budget-cutting proposals, but the state's finances were improved and over the last 14 months Minnesota was rewarded with ratings upgrades from Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Investors Service.
Gunyou had been Minneapolis' finance commissioner before joining the Carlson Administration. He was active in the Government Finance Officers Association and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, where he served in executive capacities with both groups from 1988 to 1991.
Jeffrey Esser, the association's executive director, said Gunyou made "a very significant contribution" to the organization, particularly in the area of disclosure.