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Fulton chooses new administrator

3-month process comes to a close

FULTON – 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 he will begin working with Balk on Monday.

During a special meeting last week, the Fulton City Council unanimously approved the hiring of Cannon, formerly of Lake Zurich, 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 nontraditional 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 3-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 begin his new role with the city of Fulton and plans on using his 20 years of military experience in the United States 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 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.

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