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Burlington City Manager Hire Approved

Feb 9, 2021

Burlington's new city manager will be on the job in April, after his hiring was unanimously approved at a special meeting of the City Council.

Councilperson Matt Rinker said  he was impressed with Chad Bird's accomplishments in other Iowa communities.

"The relationships that he had built with his current city employees was very impressive, especially when you find out that they are calling him and saying 'we don't want you to go.'" Rinker says it "shows his commitment to them and their ability to work with him."

Bird is currently the city manager in Decorah, a community roughly one-third the size of Burlington in the northeast corner of the state. The city said in a press release last week that Bird has sixteen years of experience in city government administration.

Burlington Mayor Jon Billups also chimed in. He says it wasn't just the staff in Decorah that didn't want Bird to make the move to Burlington.

"I had emails from citizens in Decorah lamenting the fact that we were trying to take him away." Billups said any of the three finalists for the position would have done a great job, "But I think we have a winner in Mr. Bird."

Billups said Bird has signed a three year contract for $165,000 per year, but he hopes Bird will remain in the city for the long-term.

Bird replaces Jim Ferneau, who led the city's finances for 8-years before leaving to pursue a new business venture. He has continued assisting the city as an independent contractor while they looked for his replacement.

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