With the addition of new permanent directors for the public works, community and economic development, and engineering departments, Moline is celebrating a full complement of top city staffers for the first time in years. On Friday, April 29, the city announced that Ryan Hvitløk, former director of planning and development in Hutchinson, Kansas, would be […]
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With the addition of new permanent directors for the public works, community and economic development, and engineering departments, Moline is celebrating a full complement of top city staffers for the first time in years. On Friday, April 29, the city announced that Ryan Hvitløk, former director of planning and development in Hutchinson, Kansas, would be Moline’s new community and economic development director. That same day it said its new director of public works is Michael Doi, who most recently was street superintendent in Collinsville, Illinois. Then, on Wednesday, May 4, the city announced David Dryer as director of engineering. Mr. Dryer will lead Moline’s Engineering Department and brings 25 years of experience in public works for local governments in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin. He replaces Scott Hinton, the longtime city engineer who resigned in January 2020. Mr. Hinton’s departure was just one among a revolving door of top leader departures in Moline. For example, the city’s community and economic development position had been without a permanent full-time director since April 10, 2019, when then Director Ray Forsythe left Moline after 14 years. Other top staffers who exited city hall included former City Administrator Doug Maxeiner, now East Moline’s city administrator, and former Public Works Director J.D. Schulte, who during the shuffle frequently assumed extra duties, including serving as acting city administrator before his retirement in March 2021. “For me, getting needed directors is essential to stabilizing the city organization and delivering results for our residents,” said Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati. “It’s essential for leadership of employees that report to them as well, and it’s essential to the health of Moline’s future.” When she became mayor in April 2021, it was her top priority to find a permanent replacement for Interim City Administrator Marty Vanags, whose year-long contract was set to expire. In June 2021, the council hired Bob Vitas as permanent city administrator. Moline also began actively working to fill the remaining posts. But COVID-19 challenges complicated those efforts. To fill the gap, the city hired interim directors and continued its search, including budgeting $82,000 for outside recruiters and search firms. “Successfully recruiting three new directors to fill long-standing vacancies reaches a milestone in rebuilding the city organization,” Mr. Vitas told the QCBJ in early May. Ms. Rayapati added that the stability and consistent leadership “means we will have the capacity to fulfill our promise of a vibrant and successful community and if we can do that, we have hope for stabilizing our population and being a partner with the rest of the region in growing it.” Mr. Vitas said by using professional search firms such as GovHRUSA, Strategic Government Resources and Baker Tilly, “We were able to attract a greater pool of candidates with advanced credentials.” One of those searches found Mr. Hvitløk, who before working for Hutchinson, Kansas, had been the city planner for Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Mr. Hvitløk holds a bachelor of arts degree from Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Minnesota State University. He also is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners as well as a Certified Floodplain Manager and a member of the Hutchinson, Kansas, Land Bank. “I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this position provides and am excited to work with and become a part of the Moline community,” Mr. Hvitløk said in a city news release. Mr. Doi brings experience as director of public works in several smaller cities in Missouri. He is familiar with the Quad Cities, previously working as the City of Davenport’s street superintendent. Mr. Doi earned a bachelor of arts degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri and holds professional engineering licenses in Missouri and Illinois. “As a public works professional, I look forward to combining my 30-plus years of experience in public works and city government with the wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise already existing in Moline to continue fostering the city’s proud past, exciting present and promising future in alignment with the goals and objectives of the council and city administrator,” Mr. Doi said. Mr. Dryer’s experience includes serving as county engineer for Jackson County, Iowa, overseeing construction and maintenance of the secondary roads. The native of Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate is expected to join Moline on Monday, June 6. “I’m excited to be working for the city and to begin working with the administration, council and city staff in achieving the goals of making Moline one of the best places to visit, live and work,” Mr. Dyer said in the city’s news release. “I’m eager to begin working with the engineering team in moving projects forward.”