During the 20 years Ed Cannon spent in the U.S. Air Force, he enjoyed being part of a large organization dedicated to something bigger than himself — in this case the security of the nation. When he retired and moved to his native Alabama to join his family’s roofing business, he stayed for 10 years.
“As part of the private sector, I came to miss the feeling I had in the Air Force of being part of something larger,” he said. He decided he wanted to make a contribution to something beyond himself. In search of that goal he quit the roofing business and enrolled in a graduate program in public administration at Northern Illinois University.
After an internship where he learned the nitty gritty aspects of running a small town in Illinois and where, he says, he was the world’s oldest intern, he was hired as city administrator in Fulton, Ill., where he spent three years.
He and his wife Kristi spent the 2016 holiday season in Colorado and while they were not strangers to the place, they enjoyed their time in the state so much that they began thinking about a move west. Kristi does a good bit of traveling in her job in charge of consumer sales to institutions for Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, but has the luxury of working from home and can live where she chooses.
Several months later, Cannon found himself in Wellington, touring the town for a day as a finalist for the position of town administrator. A field of 85 had been reduced to 10 candidates, and then to five finalists. A citizens’ committee made up of local government board chairs were in agreement — they wanted Ed Cannon to head up the government of their fast-growing town.
At the time of this writing in mid-April, Cannon and his wife had been in town for a week. They already have a contract on a house they love in Wellington and have made arrangements to rent a place until they are able to move in this summer. They joined Fitness One in Wellington. Cannon has been spending his time in town getting to know people and learning about the issues that are important to them.
He officially began work on April 24 and was sworn in by the board of trustees at their April 25 meeting. “I’m excited to be here,” Cannon says. He looks forward to making a difference, to making life better at the local level. He’s proud of his membership in the International City and County Managerial Association, a worldwide network with a prescriptive code of ethics he adheres to.
“The town administrator’s job is not political,” he says, explaining that his job is to do the bidding of the Board of Trustees efficiently and with integrity.
The Cannons are outdoor people and look forward to taking advantage of opportunities to run, bike, hike and cross-country ski in their new home. Cannon also enjoys photography.