Jim Culotta was approved as the new village of Shorewood administrator during the regular board meeting Tuesday.
Culotta, of Washington, Illinois, was unanimously voted in and plans to begin work next Monday.
“He seemed to have elevated himself through the interview process. He was a personable individual, and education-wise he was super qualified,” Mayor Rick Chapman said. “He brings in a new professionalism, and this job requires it.”
Former Village Administrator Roger Barrowman retired in July. The board acted proactively in May and hired GovHR to facilitate the replacement search. Out of the 55 applicants, the selection was narrowed to 10, and then five to interview, Trustee Stevan Brockman said.
“We were given résumés ... and the six trustees, myself and interim village administrator Aaron Klima made phone calls and talked to them individually,” Chapman said. “We brought all five in on a Saturday and then broke it down [to] two.”
Brockman said the decision was a difficult choice because both were qualified, but he felt Culotta appeared to have a good knowledge of the job, was easygoing and had common sense. He came from the same size of community as Shorewood and understood the issues it faced.
“We have nothing but cornfields to the west of us, and he had nothing but cornfields to the east; he knows about development, and that made the decision easy for me,” Brockman said.
Culotta was the city administrator in Washington for about two years. Before that, he worked as town administrator in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, for nine years. He received his master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University and has worked in state and local government.
“For me, personally and professionally it is a great fit – the development opportunities, the capital projects, things like that are something I have enjoyed doing in other communities,” Culotta said.
Chapman said he has already begun talks with Culotta about the main project in Shorewood right now – water issues.
“I’m definitely ready. Knowing it’s a priority, I’m anxious to get started on it,” Culotta said.
Culotta said the board will hash out goals for his position, but, for now, he wants to get to know the staff, board, elected officials and Shorewood community.