City of Champaign announces finalists for Public Works Director

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — After conducting a nationwide search for its new Public Works Director, the City of Champaign announced on Monday that it has narrowed its list of candidates to three finalists.

Those three finalists are Sinan Alpaslan, Benjamin Jordan and Thomas Somers.

Alpaslan has worked for contracting firms and the City of University City, Mo. in various positions since 2002. He has occupied the position of Director of Public Works and Parks for University City since 2015.

Jordan worked in the Illinois Department of Transportation as a civil engineer before becoming the Assistant Director of Public Works in Park Forest in 1988, eventually being promoted to Director in 1993. He served in that position for seven years before joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000. Jordan has served as the Teaching Faculty III/Program Director for the College of Engineering Interdisciplinary Professional Programs at UW since 2015.

Somers also worked for IDOT in the past and then as an engineer for the contractors KSG Asphalt, LLC and Lawrence A. Lipe & Associates until 2009, when he became the Director of Public Works for Herrin, Ill. He still serves in that position today.

“I am very pleased that each of these highly qualified finalists have agreed to interview for our Public Works Director position,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “This is a critical position for the City, and I look forward to learning more about each candidate’s experience and leadership qualifications. This is a very challenging time to recruit for executive-level positions and I want to thank everyone who applied for their interest in serving the City of Champaign and our residents.”

Each finalist will participate in an interview process designed to assess their personal strengths and weaknesses and to help them learn more about the Champaign-Urbana community, the city organization and the Champaign Public Works Department The finalists will answer questions from interview panels consisting of David, City executive leadership, Public Work managers, union representatives, and other key city employees who work closely with the Public Works Department. Interview panelists will provide their comments and feedback about each finalist to the David for her review and consideration.

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