Park Ridge aldermen appoint interim city manager
Shawn Hamilton was named Park Ridge's interim city manager for the next nine months during a special July 30 City Council meeting. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:55PM
PARK RIDGE — The Park Ridge City Council on July 30 named an interim city manager who is expected to serve the city for at least the next nine months.
Following a nearly four-hour, closed-door meeting, aldermen on a 5-2 vote confirmed Mayor David Schmidt’s appointment of Shawn Hamilton, a resident of Coal City and, until this week, the administrator of Grundy County. Aldermen Sal Raspanti and Marty Maloney voted against the hiring.
Under the terms approved by the council Hamilton will receive a salary that is the equivalent of $140,000 per year, but will earn no other benefits, including health insurance or a city vehicle for private use, Schmidt said. Hamilton’s contract with the city will run from Aug. 1 through May 1, 2013.
“Knowing some individuals in Park Ridge and reading some of the things I read, I thought my skill-set could be a win-win for the citizens of Park Ridge and for Shawn Hamilton,” Hamilton said.
He indicated that he would be interested in turning his interim position into a permanent one.
Hamilton, 37, was hired as Grundy County administrator in September 2011. While speaking with reporters following his appointment Monday night he acknowledged that the County Board was unaware he was planning to leave his position. He started work with Park Ridge just one day after announcing his resignation.
According to his resume Hamilton’s prior employment included business manager for the Center for Professional Development in Oakland, Calif., a global management-consulting company; lead manager of U.S. Bank in Aurora; senior financial analyst for Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; and various positions at Cole Taylor Bank in Wheeling, KFS Bank in Kankakee and TCF National Bank in Burr Ridge.
Hamilton was a member of the Coal City Unit No. 1 Board of Education for 10 years, including a term as president. He holds master’s degrees in training-and-development and business administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet.
Hamilton will take over the reins as Park Ridge’s top administrator Aug. 11 following the departure of Acting City Manager Juliana Maller.
Schmidt said he selected Hamilton as his preferred candidate based on his experience in both the public and private sectors.
“His variety of professional experience, I think, will help bring a more balanced and broad-based approach to management,” Schmidt said.
The mayor told the City Council he received 12 resumes for the position of interim city manager, a number that did not sit well with Raspanti and Maloney. Both aldermen said their “no” votes were tied to their beliefs that the pool of candidates was not large enough.
“I would have liked to have seen us get 100 resumes and really broaden the search for the individual. Clearly that didn’t happen,” Raspanti said, adding that he felt Hamilton had “limited experience” in public-sector work.
Maloney also expressed concern about Hamilton’s prior experience.
“I think his experience is not necessarily what I would be looking for in that position,” Maloney said. “He has public and private experience, but his public is less than one year as county administrator.”
Maloney added that he did not believe the responsibilities of a county administrator are equivalent to that of a city manager.