Galesburg selects new city manager, pending council vote Sept. 26

Samuel Lisec
Galesburg Register-Mail
Gerald Smith has been offered the position of Galesburg's new city manager.

GALESBURG — The city of Galesburg has extended "a conditional offer of employment" to Gerald Smith to fill the roll of Galesburg's next city manager.

The offer to Gerald Smith, announced in a Wednesday news release, must first be approved by the city council during their next Sept. 26 meeting. The selection process began in April when former city manager Todd Thompson announced he had accepted the position to be the city manager of Rock Island. The search brought 32 applications.

“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,” said Smith in the city's news release. “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.”

According to the news release, Smith has worked in public administration for over 25 years, serving as the city manager, department director, and assistant city manager in communities ranging from 5,000 – 460,000 people, as well as managing budgets from $5 million to approximately $100 million.

Smith served as the city manager in the city of Creedmoor, North Carolina, Maquoketa, Iowa, and Junction City, Kansas. He has also served as the director of general services for Kansas City, Missouri.

“The city is very excited about Gerald Smith's upcoming leadership," Mayor Peter Schwartzman said in the 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 twenty-three ambitious strategic goals. Our excellent staff will definitely benefit from Mr. Smith's energy, enthusiasm, and wisdom.”

Mr. Smith is scheduled to begin employment with the city of Galesburg within 30 – 45 days of approval of the employment agreement. The details of the offer were not made public.

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.

"Smith brings expertise in municipal management, economic development, capital infrastructure planning, and operational sustainability," the release states. "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."