Moline hires interim city administrator

Moline hires interim city administrator

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Moline has hired an interim city administrator. 

Martin Vanags, formerly president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership in Malta, New York, will be introduced during Tuesday night's committee of the whole meeting. 

The search for a new administrator was conducted by GovHR recruiter Mark Peterson. Peterson could not be reached for comment. 

Mayor Stephanie Acri said the city looked forward to leveraging Vanags' wealth of experience.

"He has 30 years of experience, and his specialty is economic development," Acri said. "He's the perfect fit for us right now because of the I-74 (bridge project). We're just thrilled; I think he's going to be great for us.

"It's a stressful time, and it's nice to get our leadership back in their spots. We got very lucky."

Acri said Vanags would begin May 27. She said his employment was not subject to approval by the city council because Vanags' employment contract is with GovHr.

Acri said the search for an assistant city administrator, a position created by the city in February, had been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the Albany Times Union, Vanags resigned from his position as president of Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership in January. He was with the organization since 2015.

Before that, Vanags served as vice president for regional economic development and as executive director of the Indy Partnership, a business unit of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. 

Vanags graduated from Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University and has more than 30 years in community and economic development. 

Vanags owns a consulting firm called Vanags Consulting & Partners and publishes a blog on his website. On his Twitter page, Vanags describes himself as "a futurist and bow-tie-wearing economic development leader" and counts former President Barack Obama among his followers. 

Vanags could not be reached for comment Monday.

Public Works Director J.D. Schulte has served as interim administrator since the forced resignation of Lisa Kotter on Sept. 22, 2019. Kotter was hired in April 2019 and served less than five months on the job. She is now city administrator for Eldridge.

Kotter replaced former Moline City Administrator Doug Maxeiner, who abruptly resigned in January 2019 after less than two years with the city. He is now city administrator for East Moline.

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