The city of Galesburg has offered the city manager position to Gerald Smith, who has served in that role in Maquoketa, Iowa, among a 25-year career in public administration.
The offer is contingent upon approval of an employment agreement, which is scheduled for City Council consideration at the Sept. 26, 2022 City Council meeting. Smith was chosen by the Galesburg City Council to fill the position after a nationwide recruitment and selection process, led by the recruitment firm GovHR.
His predecessor, Todd Thompson, served as Galesburg city manager since 2011, and on May 23, 2022 was sworn in as the new Rock Island city manager.
Smith has worked in public administration for over 25 years, serving as a city manager, department director, and assistant city manager in communities ranging from 5,000 – 460,000 in population, as well as managing budgets from $5 million to approximately $100 million. He has previously served as city manager in communities including Maquoketa; Creedmoor, North Carolina; and Junction City, Kansas.
In addition, he served as the director of general services for Kansas City, Missouri. Smith brings expertise in municipal management, economic development, capital infrastructure planning, and operational sustainability, according to a Wednesday release from Galesburg. Through his extensive experience, he has developed skills and proficiency in budget development and coordination; community and neighborhood engagement; and implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, the release says.
Smith earned a Master of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Urban History and Political Science from Elmhurst College. He is an ICMA credentialed manager, and is certified in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
“The city is very excited about Gerald Smith’s upcoming leadership. Our search was extensive, and our vetting was done with great deliberation,” Mayor Peter Schwartzman said in Wednesday’s release. “Mr. Smith brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of municipal government that will enhance the city of Galesburg’s work to reach our council’s 23 ambitious strategic goals. Our excellent staff will definitely benefit from Mr. Smith’s energy, enthusiasm, and wisdom.”
Smith was selected at the conclusion of an extensive nationwide recruitment process, which began in April 2022, when former city manager Todd Thompson announced his acceptance of a new position as the Rock Island city manager. The recruitment process garnered 32 applications, which were narrowed by a rigorous review of qualifications by GovHR, as well as a multi-tier interview process.
“I look forward to joining the city of Galesburg as its next city manager, partnering with and supporting the Mayor, City Council, city staff, and its many residents,” Smith said. “I also look forward to becoming an active member of the Galesburg community as we collectively work towards the ever-evolving evolution of such a rich and storied history.”
He s scheduled to begin employment with Galesburg within 30 – 45 days of approval of the employment agreement. More information on the proposed city manager employment agreement can be found on the city’s website.