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Joliet council selects new city manager

The City of Joliet named David Hales as its next city manager at its Sept. 19 public meeting.

The council’s selection will put an end to the city’s search by Nov. 27, at which point Hales’ intends to begin assuming his new duties.

“It’s with a great deal of pride and humility I do accept the [offer,]” Hales said. “I very much look forward to working with you both as the governing board for the City of Joliet and your outstanding staff. [I’ve only] gotten to know a few of the members, but I just have to say again the City of Joliet has such a sterling reputation. It’s success and progress in economic development and so many other [areas] is really setting the standard, here, in the State of Illinois.”

Hales, 63, will sign off from his current post with the City of Bloomington, where he has served as city manager since 2009. Prior to that time, he held government positions for the Cities of West Jordan, Utah, Redmond, Oregon, Bend, Oregon, Kannapolis, North Carolina, and Centerville, Utah.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said in a statement, “The city council is extremely impressed with the qualifications and background of Mr. Hales. He is clearly a seasoned and respected city manager who will bring a tremendous amount of value to our city.”

Hales originally hails from Utah and holds degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.

“I just thought it would be a dream come true in many ways to come and join you and be part of your outstanding efforts,” he said. “I look forward to using my many, many years of experience and talents to assist you and help continue to raise the bar in not only your overall success, but [also] progress here. [I] look forward to joining you in about 60 days.”

Hales’ current contract requires him to provide 60 days notice before resigning.

Hales said he has some goals he intends to accomplish in his first 90 days, with one being to increase community engagement by holding listening meetings. In the past, he has helped lead town hall and neighborhood meetings to get a sense for the community’s challenges and areas in which progress is made.

“I think everything boils down to building a strong team—whether it’s the department heads, the mayor, employees, or officials for intergovernmental bodies,” Hales said. “It is important to work together as it is needed for success and maximizing resources.”

Hales stressed how impressed he is with the City of Joliet and said it is with great interest he seeks to serve the community.

“Thank you again for the honor and privilege of serving as your city manager and look forward to being part of this outstanding team,” he said.

Hales and his wife have six children and 13 grandchildren.

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