Another planner resigns from Walton County - Tom Blackshear is the fifth planner to leave Walton County since November. BY PASHA CARROLL SUN REPORTER Tom Blackshear, Walton County?s Senior Planner for long range planning, resigned March 14. Blackshear took a job with the Science Applications International Corporation. His new office will be at the Shalimar branch. The new job will be working with defense contracts and closely with the Eglin Encroachment Office, Blackshear said. Blackshear?s last official day will be April 4. He worked for Walton County for approximately seven years. "It was a difficult decision," Blackshear said. "I consider what I am doing now (in the county) a higher calling." "I love the county. I love the people," he said. "That?s what makes decisions like this so hard." He said the reason why multiple people have left the Walton County Planning Department is because "there is a heck of a lot of work out there." Another big part of it is "the burn out factor," Blackshear said. The Planning Department is funded for 22 positions and only about 11, including administration, are filled, Planning Manager Kelly Finney said. Planning Director Mike Lane, Senior Planner Latilda Henninger, Planning Coordinator Jennifer Christensen and Planning Technician Mary Margaret Stallings have left the department since November. The county has hired a new person, slated to start April 1, and others are in the interview process. Finney said advertisements for the positions have been posted nationally. Currently there are two plan reviewers. There should be five, Finney said. When asked if there is a concern about losing more people, Finney said "there is always a threat that the private sector is going to take planners." Finney said Blackshear would be missed at the department. "He is just a good person," she said.