Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Forest Park Hires New Administrator...

According to Josh Adams of the Forest Park Review, Forest Park has a new administrator. Here's what Adams wrote in the Forest Park Review:

Amid accusations from one council member that the decision is an abuse of the public's trust, elected officials in Forest Park voted 3-2 Monday night to hire Tim Gillian as the next village administrator.

The decision was made after a final closed-door discussion that lasted about 40 minutes. It ends what has been an almost nine-month search. Gillian, a lifelong resident of Forest Park and a former council member himself, outlasted more than 30 applicants for the job.

Aside from service as an elected official, Gillian has no experience with municipal administration. For many years, he ran a large and successful paving company. In casting their votes, each of the four council members offered some remarks. Mayor Anthony Calderone was mum.

Calderone and Gillian are childhood friends. They served together on the council for 12 years, until 2006 when Gillian didn't seek re-election. Over the course of three election cycles, Calderone and Gillian supported each other's candidacy.

Commissioners Mark Hosty and Mike Curry voted with the mayor to give Gillian the nod. Commissioners Marty Tellalian and Rory Hoskins voted not to hire Gillian.

"It was a great experience," Curry said of the hiring process. "I look forward to Mr. Gillian leading our village."

Hosty, too, served alongside Gillian for eight years and the two campaigned together in local elections.

After the meeting, Calderone said he wasn't prepared to comment on the decision other than to say he would prefer such important hires be made with greater agreement. As for voting to hire a political ally, the mayor said he's not concerned residents might view the decision as self-serving.

"I'm not. The newspaper is going to take that position and a handful of people are going to take that position," Calderone said. "I think Tim Gillian needs to be given the opportunity to show what he can do for the Village of Forest Park."

Commissioner Marty Tellalian scolded his colleagues for turning village hall into a private club, and said it would be difficult for taxpayers to measure what's been lost by hiring Gillian over better-qualified applicants. Tellalian ripped Gillian's tenure on the council, pointing to a budget shortfall during his watch over the finance department that resulted in the dismissal of 12 municipal employees.

"He would not get a job with any other village in the state," Tellalian said. "He simply is not qualified."

No comments: