Mayor Morrissey selects new city administrator, city legal director

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey has announced his selections for changes in his leadership team. Jim Ryan has been selected as the new city administrator, and Patrick Hayes was selected as city legal director. Each of these appointments was approved at City Council May 2. Current City Legal Director Ron Schultz has agreed to serve as city legal director until May 17, when Hayes is expected to take the position. Einar Forsman, current city administrator, will consult with the City on numerous issues over the coming months.

“Both Einar Forsman and Ron Schultz have served this community faithfully and are well respected. My decision to appoint a new administrator and a new legal director, however, reflects the new direction the voters approved on April 5. I have great trust and confidence in both Jim Ryan and Patrick Hayes, each of whom will help our community move forward,” said Morrissey. “The City will benefit from both Jim and Patrick’s experience, leadership skills, and passion to get things done.”

Ryan currently works in the City of Rockford’s Public Works Department as the director of Capital Development. In this position, he has worked with the Public Works Department team to design and construct more than $80 million in public infrastructure throughout the City, and has aggressively pursued both state and federal grant funds for infrastructure investment. Ryan has earned great respect from staff and aldermen as well as local, state and federal leaders. Much of his efforts have been developing plans and pursuing funds to reconstruct major state highway entries into the city such as West State and South Main streets. Ryan has been the project director for the Northern Illinois Commuter Rail Initiative, the regional effort to bring commuter rail to the Rock River Valley, as well as the chief architect of Rockford Global Trade Park, an aggressive economic development strategy to retain and attract jobs within a 6,600-acre area surrounding Greater Rockford Airport.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be asked by Mayor Morrissey to serve as city administrator for the City of Rockford. I look forward to working together with our Mayor, City Council, staff, citywide organizations, and citizens to achieve our community goals,” said Ryan.

Hayes is a partner in the law firm of Guyer & Enichen, P.C., where he currently practices civil litigation and land use & zoning. Hayes is a former Winnebago County Assistant State’s Attorney who has considerable experience in the municipal law arena, where he has prosecuted municipal code violations for the Rockford Park District for more than a decade, and has represented municipalities in litigation matters. He has aggressively and effectively represented the Rockford Board of Elections. He has experience in land use and zoning matters and extensive experience in civil litigation.

“While I am blessed to have practiced law with the fine professionals at Guyer & Enichen, Mayor Morrissey’s challenge to me to commit my energies to public service was an opportunity that I could not resist. I look forward to participating in the Mayor’s call to excellence, and will do my utmost to lead the Legal Department in the effective and efficient delivery of legal services to the City of Rockford,” said Hayes.

“Patrick will bring an aggressive advocacy style on behalf of the citizens of Rockford. He has outstanding legal and government affairs experience representing municipalities which will be especially important as we work with the County and the community to respond to problems like drug houses, abandoned homes, and our truancy crisis,” Mayor Morrissey said. “I am honored to have these two men aboard as trusted members of my team.”

Ryan will begin his new position immediately upon approval by the City Council. Hayes is expected to begin his position as city legal director on May 17, as he transitions from his private practice.

From the May 4-10, 2005 issue

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