City Manager John Phillips announced his plans today to retire from the position of City Manager in October 2011. Phillips has served as Rock Island City Manager since 1987. He worked for the City of Rockford, Illinois prior to coming to Rock Island, and served five years as City Administrator there.

"By the time I retire next year, I will have served as a City Manager or Administrator for almost 30 years, with 38 years in local government service. I think it is time for someone else to step into the position," stated Phillips.

He continued, "I have had a very rewarding career in local government and Rock Island has been a great city in which to work. It has been an honor to work for the citizens of Rock Island with dedicated elected officials and staff."

Phillips said he informed the Mayor and City Council of his intentions at the annual goal setting session so that the Council could have a chance to consider this as they establish their plans for the coming year. He said that the early notice will provide ample time for the Mayor and Council to select a replacement.

Phillips said that he plans to remain in Rock Island but hasn't made any future plans. He would like to stay involved in the community and may consider other employment if the right opportunity presents itself.

"John Phillips is the best city manager in the business," said Mayor Dennis Pauley. "He has done an excellent job of managing the numerous departments and finances of the City. John has set a high standard and has put Rock Island in an enviable position for the future."

"We appreciate the advance notice from John. The process for selecting the next city manager is an important topic we will be considering," continued Pauley.


John Phillips graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, IA with a BA in political science. He received a Master of Arts in public affairs from Northern Illinois University.

During his time in Rock Island some of the City's accomplishments Phillips led include :

  • Restoring and maintaining the City's financial condition.
  • Supporting a strong economic development effort
  • Recruiting and retaining a quality staff team
  • Maintaining high standards for ethical and professional local government.

Some projects in which Phillips played an important role include :

  • Jumer's Casino
  • Whitewater Junction
  • Rock Island Fitness and Activity Center (RIFAC)
  • Centennial Bridge transfer to the State of Illinois
  • Schwiebert Riverfront Park
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Center renovation and expansion

Phillips has served on several boards of directors in the community:

  • Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce
  • Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging
  • United Way of the Quad Cities

He currently serves on the following boards of directors:

  • Quad City Civic Center Authority
  • Development Association of Rock Island

At the state level, Phillips has been active with the Illinois Municipal League and Illinois City / County Management Association:

  • Past President of the Illinois City / County Management Association (ILCMA)
  • Chair of the ILCMA committee on professional conduct
  • Past Chair and current member of the Illinois Municipal League's municipal manager's committee

Over the years Phillips has received several awards:

  • Citizen of the Year for the City of Rock island
  • Outstanding Manager of the Year from the ILCMA Assistants' Group
  • Special Service Award from ILCMA

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