FULTON, Ill. — The city of Fulton is one step closer to selecting a new city administrator with only five applicants now vying for the job.
A special public hearing, held this past weekend, allowed members of the Fulton City Council and Fulton residents to meet candidates face to face during an open interview session.
“We could have closed the session for the interviews but we decided to give the public an opportunity to meet the candidates,” Fulton Mayor Larry Russell said.
A selection committee of two City Council members and a variety of other city figures have been working over the past several weeks to narrow the selection down from more than 40 applicants to these five.
Russell anticipated that a decision would be made by the first city council meeting in September, but as deliberation continues it seems as though that deadline will not be met.
“We’re not ready to have an announcement by the September meeting but there will be some clarification by then,” Russell said. “We’re going to take a breath and go a little slower.”
The five candidates range in professional experience and many were required to travel to be present at the open interviews.
Only one Fulton native is in the running for the city administrator position but being local doesn’t necessarily weigh in the candidates favor.
“All five are in the running and that’s where we stand,” Russell said.
Barbara Suehl-Janis is the only Fulton resident to apply for the position, and Russell feels her experience with previous industrial reality makes her a strong candidate for the position.
One of her challengers, Patrick “Ian” Rigg, is currently the city administrator in Eldora, a town of approximately 2,700 people.
He is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and interned with the city of Davenport to learn the basics of city management.