Tim Gleason sat next to Washington City Attorney Richard Russo to sign his contract as city administrator.
This is Gleason’s first job as a city administrator.
“I’m hoping it will be my last one, too,” said Gleason.
Gleason’s career path started when he joined the Pekin police department in 1989 and eventually took him into public administration.
Gleason, 47, of Morton, will leave his job as deputy director for the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity and Commerce and start as the new city administrator Monday.
“I would just as soon have my public administration career be right here in Washington,” he said. “Washington is the perfect balance between small town charm and a growing city.”
Gleason, a native of Tazewell County, retired from the Pekin police with the rank of lieutenant in 2010. He worked for the state in the correctional industries office before going to the state’s DEOC.
City aldermen, city officials, Gleason and his family packed into a small conference room Oct. 21 at Washington City Hall for a vote on Gleason’s employment contract with the city.
“I am excited,” Gleason said. “I know I keep saying that, but it really is the best word to describe this.”
The contract unanimously approved by the council calls for Gleason to be paid $98,000 a year as the city’s administrator. The contract also includes a city car and city cell phone for Gleason.
Gleason’s contract expires April 30, 2013 because state law calls for the administrator’s contract to expire at the same time the mayor’s term expires.
Washington Mayor Gary Manier said the expiration date is a technicality and is not an indication of any hesitation on the part of the council to hire Gleason. Manier added that he intends on running for re-election.
Gleason’s contract can be renewed in the spring after the next council is seated.
“The fact that he is coming to Washington from a job in Springfield it is a clear indication of Tim’s commitment to this position and to the city of Washington,” Manier said. “The council has worked hard on this search and they did their due diligence and it shows in the quality of candidate that we hired tonight.”
Also, on hand for council’s vote was Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston.
“You’ve made a good decision,” Huston told the council after the vote. “This is clearly a good fit for both Tim and for the city of Washington.”
Gleason was the only candidate for city administrator to attend the council’s regular meeting Oct. 15.
After the meeting, Mayor Gary Manier said “it’s pretty obvious based on who attended tonight’s meeting who we’re in contract negotiations with.”
Gleason holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
The search for a new city administrator started when Robert Morris retired last year. He came back and served in as interim city administrator earlier this spring.
The City Council has been working to narrow its choice from 57 candidates to one.
The City Council held an open house earlier this month so community leaders could meet Gleason as part of the selection process.