DIXON – David Nord said there are a lot of good things in the city that haven’t been tapped into yet.
That’s what excites him about taking over as Dixon’s city administrator.
The city of Dixon is expected to hire the former village administrator of Cherry Valley as its first administrator, according to a press release it issued Friday.
The City Council has been in contract negotiations with Nord, and both sides have come to a tentative agreement.
Commissioners will vote to finalize the hire sometime in November.
All indications were the city would hire him after he visited City Hall on Oct. 8, but the city would not confirm he was its choice until Friday.
Nord referred to Dixon as an opportunity.
“They’ve already taken some of the steps in being more open and user-friendly for the public,” Nord said in a telephone interview Friday. “... It’s just a matter of flushing out those good things.”
Nord passed a background investigation, similar to one conducted for a police officer.
The contract will be placed on file for 7 days in early November, according to the city’s release. A community “meet and greet” is being planned for the same week.
“Citizens will have an opportunity to meet David and inspect the contract the city has tentatively agreed to with him,” said Police Chief Danny Langloss, who led a 10-person committee in the hiring process.
“Citizens will have several days to contact elected officials and have their voices heard before the final vote.”
Nord was the village administrator in Cherry Valley for 25 years and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University. A suburb of Rockford, Cherry Valley, with a population of 3,143, is home to the CherryVale Mall and Magic Waters Waterpark.
Nord resigned from Cherry Valley in May to seek a new challenge, he said.
His resignation came after the April election, and he was one of a number of other city staff who moved on, he said.
He also served as president of the Illinois City/County Management Association, a support and networking group of professional city administrators throughout the state. Nord served on the ethics committee for this organization for 7 years.
“David is a great communicator and has incredible experience in economic development,” Langloss said. “Our elected officials, department heads, and staff are very impressed with him. He has the right mindset for community service and will brings years of experience to this position.”
A 10-person committee led by Langloss, including commissioners Dennis Considine and Jeff Kuhn, reviewed the résumés of 40 applicants before reaching a consensus on Nord.
Nord completed two interviews and met with department heads, city employees, and elected officials for a “finalist day,” according to the release.
The city announced in April it was going to hire its first city administrator after it was revealed City Engineer and Public Works Director Shawn Ortgiesen used city-issued credit cards for personal items, but closed-session minutes from a February council meeting showed commissioners had brought up the idea of an administrator before then.
The city administrator will be in charge of day-to-day operations in the city and play a crucial role in the city’s budgeting, but commissioners still will have the final authority over their departments.
Also, the City Council is in favor of putting a referendum on the ballot in November 2014 to ask citizens whether the city should adopt the city manager form of government. A final vote to put the referendum on the ballot will come next month.
An administrator differs from a city manager, because he is given authority by city ordinance, whereas a city manager is granted authority through state statute.