Fraser hires new town manager
Fraser has chosen a former Wellington administrator to take over the town’s top role starting later this month.
On Wednesday, the Fraser Town Board unanimously approved an agreement with Ed Cannon to hire him as the town manager. Following the vote, board members shared their excitement with the decision.
“Welcome aboard, Ed,” Mayor Philip Vandernail said. “Welcome to the community, we’re excited to officially have you.”
Cannon thanked the board for the opportunity, adding he’s eager to get started.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity because Fraser is a wonderful town,” he said. “I’ve gotten to meet all of (the board) and most of the staff over the past six months, so I feel like a member of the community already.”
Under Cannon’s contract with the town, he will receive $155,000 per year with 144 hours of paid time off and use of a town car, as well as eligibility for the town’s health care and retirement benefits. The contract expires on Dec. 31, when it will be renewed for a year unless Cannon is terminated.
Should the town fire Cannon, he’s entitled to nine months severance pay at his regular salary rate, as well as a continuation of benefits during that period of time. Severance will not apply if Cannon resigns, cancels the contract or is convicted of a felony.
During his interview with the board earlier in May, Cannon described himself as the type of manager who is always looking for compromise and win-win situations.
“My role as a manager is to make sure we stay on track and meet our goals within their parameters, but I’m also looking for efficiencies along the way,” he said. “I’m always going to be trying to find those ways that both parties can live with and reach their objectives.”
Through his most recent position as town administrator of Wellington, Cannon has experience with water rights, diversifying revenue sources and development. Prior to that, Cannon worked for the city of Fulton, Illinois, where he oversaw an affordable housing project.
On top of his public service, Cannon previously owned a roofing business and served in the US Air Force. Cannon has a degree in political science and a masters in public administration from the University of Montevallo and Northern Illinois University, respectively.
Cannon identified some top priorities in his interview should he get the job, including creating a development plan for future growth, addressing affordable housing, putting together a capital improvement plan, working towards a new public works building and staying on top of water and sustainability issues.
“It’s a matter of making sure we hear what (people) have to say,” he said. “We may not all agree, one side is going to want to keep it the way it is, and the other side is going to say we’d like to see more growth. Once again, it’s about finding that win-win situation, working with the community and being transparent.”
When looking to the future, Cannon said he can see him and his wife retiring in Fraser one day, noting he quickly fell in love with the area and can’t wait to get to know the community.
Cannon’s first day will be June 14.
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Editor’s note: This story is republished with permission from CHSAANow.com.