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Nord begins sharing vision

Says he sees potential for economic growth

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 2:30 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
David Nord (center), the finalist to be the first city administrator for Dixon, meets with Dixon Mayor Jim Burke (left) and residents during a meet-and-greet Tuesday night at The Next Picture Show.

DIXON – David Nord made his first public appearance in Dixon on Tuesday night.

Nord, the city’s finalist for the city administrator position, met with residents at The Next Picture Show, 113 W. First St., just a day after his contract was placed on file by the Dixon City Council.

Nord, the former village administrator in Cherry Valley, could be hired by the city during a special City Council meeting Nov. 12 and start work the following day.

“I’m going to be talking with the mayor and the commissioners about what they want done first,” he said. “I mean, I’m going to give them my list and say, ‘Here’s what I see that would be quick to get off the plate and would have some return for the community. But what is it you folks want done first?’”

Nord said the downtown TIF district is an asset the city needs to market more aggressively, adding that in his experience in Cherry Valley, not having one often closed doors to some economic development.

Police Chief Danny Langloss led a 10-person hiring committee that reviewed the résumés of 40 applicants before reaching a consensus on Nord, who will become Dixon’s first city administrator.

“We assessed a few areas,” Langloss said. “We wanted to see his leadership and his leadership style – communication. Did he have good presence? We wanted to see his experience in economic development. We wanted to see his experience and background in human resources. And we wanted to see his experience and background in finance.”

Those were some of the areas the hiring committee looked at during the first of two interviews, Langloss said, adding that the second interview focused more on Nord’s leadership style, with “scenario, behavioral-based questions.”

“Their interview process here was very intense,” Nord said. “You have 10 people sitting around the room. They’re all asking questions, specific questions, but quite varied as well.”

If the City Council approves his hiring, Nord’s first day as city administrator would be Nov. 13.

Mayor Jim Burke said among the first things Nord should do is focus on getting familiar with the city, residents and issues.

“And it’s probably going to take more than a couple months,” Burke said. “But he needs to really get a feel for the community. He really does need to understand it. He needs to understand the culture of this community and the pride the people have in it.”

Nord was the village administrator in Cherry Valley, a Rockford suburb, for 25 years. The village is home to CherryVale Mall and Magic Waters Waterpark.

“I think he’s going to bring a lot of good management skills to the table,” Burke said. “Also, one of the things that I really like is that he has a strong interest in economic development and a background in that.”

City Commissioner David Blackburn said having Nord on staff will add professional leadership to the city, as well as provide the City Council with someone to lean on for coordination.

Nord said he believes his 25 years of experience played a big role in his hire.

“As far as the development aspect of [the job], that is something they were interested in seeing brought to this town,” Nord said. “And as I told them during the interview process, this community has a lot of great assets, but out in the economic development world, I hadn’t heard too much about that.”

To attend

The Dixon City Council will have a special meeting at 10:30 a.m. today to vote on an ordinance to place the issue of adopting the mangerial form of government in the November 2014 election.

The meeting will be at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.

Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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