Robert Hunter, community relations director of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee since 1993, has resigned citing budget problems as part of the reason.

"I have been able to see that our budget is not going to be sufficient to fund everything we want," Hunter said Friday. He believes more money is needed for Olympic venues and community programs.Hunter, former Ogden city manager and Weber County commissioner, was asked in January to "transition" out of his position, said SLOC spokeswoman Shelley Thomas.

The request coincided with a reorganization that included adding Diane Hesleph as director of education and Bob Bills as director of youth programs.

While no exit date has been set for Hunter, his departure will be coordinated with Hesleph's and Bills' arrival. Bills comes on board April 1; Hesleph in June.

Hunter, 56, is the latest high-profile SLOC employee to step down since Frank Joklik took over as president and chief executive officer amid the turmoil of Tom Welch's departure due to a charge of spouse abuse.

Games spokesman Mike Korologos stepped down in January after Thomas was brought on board.

Gordon Crabtree, SLOC's vice president of finance, and Scott Greene, his budget director, both quit shortly after Joklik's appointment late last summer.

Stephanie Pate, who was Welch's long-time secretary but had been promoted to director of sponsor services, also left.

In a letter to Thomas, Hunter said he remains committed to the 2002 Winter Games in Utah but wants to help through "more flexible and independent alternatives to my current position with SLOC."