By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — After months of searching and two rounds of applications and interviews, a city administrator has been selected for the city of Fulton.
Ed Cannon will replace retiring Randy Balk at the end of October, and his position with the city will begin effectively Monday.
During a special meeting this week, the Fulton City Council unanimously decided to appoint Cannon, formerly of Lake Zurich, Ill., based on his leadership and people management skills.
“I went down point by point and I said ‘he matches every point we have asked,’” Mayor Larry Russell said. “I’m as high as can be right now. I’ll be the goat if this is a total misread, but there have been too many credible people saying he is a good fit, to feel that it is.”
Cannon came highly recommended from what Russell calls, “valued sources” at the Illinois City/County Manager’s Association and Northern Illinois University.
“He was a part of the restart applicant list and didn’t really pop to the surface until we heard from these two reliable resources,” Russell said. “We thought this guy must be something different; a non traditional applicant, so we decided to give it a shot.”
The hiring of Cannon comes as a relief to the council, who has been searching for a new administrator since early July, receiving more than 100 applications in the three month process.
Fulton Alderwoman Barb Mask has been a member of the executive selection committee in charge of reviewing candidates since the beginning of the process, and now feels relieved with the selection of Cannon.
“I am feeling grateful to have it come to a successful conclusion. We’re really pleased to find the candidate. He comes with strong leadership skills,” Mask said. “It appeared to us that he will not only bring (those) good leadership skills but will also be a good fit to our community.”
Cannon is excited to being his new role with the city of Fulton and plans on using his 20 years of military experience in the United States Air Force private sector to propel himself into the position.
During his years in the Air Force, Cannon worked in the Air Defense Operations for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) before retiring and taking control of his family’s commercial roofing business in Birmingham, Ala.
After spending 12 years as a business owner, Cannon felt a strong desire to get back into the world of public service and enrolled at NIU to receive his master’s degree in public administration.
“While the private sector was rewarding and taught valuable lessons, a desire grew for me to be get back in public service,” said Cannon. “Public administration satisfies this desire and Fulton is an ideal place for (my wife and I) to be. The community has a sound financial footing, a talented staff and officials with a commitment to growth.”
Cannon’s availability will play strongly in Fulton’s favor as Balk’s final day as city administrator will come Oct. 31, giving he and Cannon a little more than a week for the transition.
Because the city of Fulton has highly qualified staff, according to Cannon, he feels comfortable with the short time table he is working with.
“My role there is not to do everyone’s job. My job is to make sure everyone is in going down the right path,” Cannon said. “I’m comfortable with that and I’m looking forward to get to know the Futon community, residents, businesses, business owners and just becoming a part of the community.”