FULTON, Ill. — As the retirement of Fulton City Administrator Randy Balk draws closer, the task of finding a replacement is high on Mayor Larry Russell’s to-do list.
Balk’s last day as administrator is Oct. 31, so Russell and a review board composed of local business owners and city officials must have a selection in place by early September.
Applications have flooded in since the city started advertising the position, and the selection committee has narrowed the search down from 40 candidates last week to 15 on Tuesday.
“Fifteen really quality candidates are left; now we have the difficult task of narrowing it down even more,” Russell said. “We have a committee of six doing screening, and they will come up with the top five or six candidates, which we’ll then do detailed interviews with.”
Once the committee can narrow the selection down to two or three applicants, the group will then open the final round of interviews to the City Council and members of the public who would like to spectate.
Although the identities of the 15 candidates have been confidential to this point, Russell said each one is highly qualified for the position and has a strong background in management experience.
“The candidates are a mixture of city managers and other high-management positions,” Russell said. “They might not all have experience running a city, but there are certainly parallels.”
Whether the candidate is qualified is one question, but another question is will the new administrator establish a good working relationship with city officials.
Balk has held the position for nearly 13 years and, according to Russell, has worked diligently with the City Council to make things run as smoothly as possible.
“We have a really good working relationship with the current city administrator so that is something we are striving for with the next (one),” Russell said.