Naperville official only candidate left for top city post

Breanne Gilpatrick

The final city manager candidate’s name appeared in newspapers last week, but Evanston residents couldn’t put a face to the name until Sunday.

About 30 residents, aldermen and city staff members filed into the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., to meet city manager candidate Julia Carroll, currently the assistant city manager in Naperville, Ill.

Carroll is the only remaining candidate in the nationwide search for a new Evanston city manager after Mayor Lorraine H. Morton announced at the Nov. 8 Evanston City Council meeting that the other finalist — Ted Staton, city manager of East Lansing, Mich., — had withdrawn his application.

Although Carroll is the only candidate left in the search, Morton said aldermen have not reached an official decision and will need to discuss making Carroll an offer at an executive session before the Nov. 22 city council meeting.

Ald. Edmund Moran (6th) said that if the council decides to extend the position to Carroll they will have to give her time to consider the offer.

Moran said he hopes an announcement could be made by Jan. 1.

At the informal meeting Sunday, residents had the opportunity to read a copy of Carroll’s resume and ask her questions about her experience, management style and policy positions.

During the one-hour question and answer session, Carroll presented her views on issues such as economic development, fiscal matters, town-gown relations and her “vision for Evanston.”

“My vision for Evanston is to keep it the gem of the North Shore, to promote the community’s vision, whatever that may be, to update plans and work on balancing competing interests and to provide continued service to the citizens,” Carroll said.

Evanston resident Dave Galloway said he likes Carroll’s idea of creating a strategy for decision-making in city government.

“If her acts conform to her principles and philosophies, I think she will be a good city manager,” Galloway said.

But Sixth Ward resident Jan Otwell said Carroll would need to learn more about diversity and university issues to work in Evanston.

“I thought she had a lot of strong characteristics,” Otwell said. “But there are some differences between Evanston and Naperville. And I think she would need to come up to speed on it if she lived here.”

Reach Breanne Gilpatrick at [email protected]

Quick facts:

 East Lansing, Mich., City Manager Ted Staton dropped out Nov. 8.

 Community members and alderman participated Sunday in a question and answer period with remaining candidate Julia Carroll.

 Council members hope to reach a final decision by Jan. 1, 2005.

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