It's official - Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason is coming to Bloomington.
Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner announced the hire in a Monday press conference. Gleason, a former Washington city manager and Pekin police officer, will take over the vacancy left by David Hales, who left to take a city manager's position in Joliet last year.
Gleason was city manager of Washington when the 2013 EF-4 tornado struck the city.
Gleason was selected over interim city manager Steve Rasmussen and Washington city manager Jim Culotta for the job.
“On behalf of the City of Bloomington, it is my privilege to announce Tim Gleason as our next City Manager,” said Renner in a prepared statement. “It speaks to the strengths of our community and the opportunities that exist here that the City of Bloomington received the high caliber of applicants for the City Manager position that we did. Mr. Gleason is poised and ready to bring the depth of his ability and experience to capitalize on our community’s opportunities and navigate our challenges. I look forward to working with him.”
During that conference, Gleason answered questions from the public and took the opportunity to share his views and explain why he's the best man for the job.
"I'm resourceful and also very honest, high integrity and I think that's critical to be successful in this position" Gleason said told 25 News while at the conference.
Despite his experience in the position in other cities, he also added there's much to be learned from Rasmussen, in terms of keeping Bloomington on track financially. "It's critical for us to be successful . He's a professional. I'm a professional and we're not gonna have any problems." Gleason stated confidently.
He named transparency and listening to the community as two vital roles in strengthening Bloomington - so we asked residents what they would like Gleason to prioritize.
Pam Jenkins, a retired Bloomington resident says money should go to roads. "The roads are terrible here in Bloomington....potholes and cracks in the roads...they're just bad." she said emphatically.
Thomas Gallagher another Bloomington resident included education among his list of priorities, then citing the development of the downtown Bloomington area. "The more people that are going downtown and spending money.... is just gonna make this community grow."
Gleason was honest about needing to do more research before he could outline any specific problem areas for the city but says he has reviewed the budget and the first thing he says sticks out, is needing more city revenue.
"...Trying to find ways to pay for the ongoing daily services and then also all the things the elected officials have as a vision of adding to what we currently provide." Gleason said.
The City Council is expected to formally approve Gleason's contract at its June 25 meeting. If approved, he would make $185,000 a year.