Three finalists vying for Rock Island city manager post

The City of Rock Island has narrowed its search for a new city manager to three candidates, and final negotiations are taking place, John Gripp, the interim city manager, told the QCBJ on Wednesday, March 9.

The trio, who were among 36 prospects found through a nationwide search, have been interviewed multiple times, said Mr. Gripp, who also is the city’s parks and recreation executive director. 

Following the professional search, city manager candidates were interviewed multiple times by city department heads, the city council and Mayor Mike Thoms, Mr. Gripp said. The council also may choose to interview candidates again. 

“There is no deadline” for choosing the new leader, Mr. Gripp added. “The city council is doing due diligence to ensure it is a good fit for our community.”

Mr. Gripp was appointed interim city manager in December 2021 after the retirement of City Manager Randy Tweet. 

Although he initially had been the only internal candidate for the city manager job, Mr. Gripp said he withdrew from the running because “his” passion was with the parks and recreation department that he first worked for as a lifeguard in his youth. For 16 years he was a full-time parks employee, including roles as aquatic director, assistant Rock Island Fitness and Activity Center (RIFAC) manager, assistant director, superintendent of recreation, and finally, executive director of parks and recreation. 

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