WASHINGTON — Ray Forsythe is the new city administrator.
Forsythe, Moline's planning and development director since 2005, was hired by the City Council at a special meeting Monday and signed a two-year contract.
The 55-year-old Fort Dodge, Iowa, native's first day of work in Washington is April 15. No other terms of Forsythe's contract were available Monday.
"Municipal government is challenging, but I'm looking forward to bringing my experience in city administration, economic development, planning and community development to Washington," said Forsythe, who has overseen the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of downtown Moline's historic district.
Forsythe previously did economic development work for Crystal Lake and Mount Prospect.
"We can't wait to have Ray get into the trenches and help us with our economic development," Mayor Gary Manier said.
Washington's hiring of Forsythe ends a selection process that began in November when the City Council hired S. Renee Narloch & Associates, a Florida-based recruitment firm, to lead the search for a new city administrator.
Narloch & Associates recommended five candidates, and the City Council selected four finalists to interview.
"Ray was the No. 1 choice of everyone on the City Council," Manier said.
Responding to criticisms on social media about the transparency of the city administrator selection process, Manier said it was essential to keep the names of the finalists confidential.
"Their bosses probably didn't know they were looking for another job," he said.
Manier has been filling in as city administrator since Jim Culotta resigned in August after 2 1/2 years of overseeing the city's day-to-day operations.
"We have a great city staff and they've given me a lot of help, but being city administrator is a full-time job and I'm looking forward to having more time to do what I need to do as mayor," Manier said.
Forsythe is Washington's third city administrator since 2015.
Culotta replaced Tim Gleason, who had the job for 2 1/2 years before he left in 2015 to become city manager in Decatur.
Gleason was hired as Bloomington city manager in June. Culotta was one of two other finalists for the job.
Forsythe will be working with a new-look City Council starting May 1.
Depending upon the results of the April 2 election, there will be at least two and as many as four new aldermen. There are eight aldermen on the City Council.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.