Evanston names new City Manager

Brian Rosenthal

For the first time since the controversial departure of Julia Carroll last spring, Evanston has a permanent person to manage its city staff.

The Evanston City Council has chosen Walter J. Bobkiewicz III as Evanston’s next city manager, they announced in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Bobkiewicz, who has served as city manager of Santa Paula, Calif. for seven years, grew up in the Chicago suburbs and earned degrees from the University of Southern California and Syracuse University.

Santa Paula is about half the size of Evanston in both population and land area.

But its budget for this year is about $50 million, less than a quarter of Evanston’s budget.

“We are very excited about Wally’s appointment,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said in the statement. “We were all extremely impressed with his proven leadership and management abilities, his financial skills, and his warm, engaging personal style.”

The council selected Bobkiewicz knowing the next city manager will have to deal with a budget crisis as soon as he or she arrives to Evanston.

Bobkiewicz has a “strong background in economic development,” according to the statement. He serves as the executive director of the Redevelopment Agency of Santa Paula, the chief administrative officer of the Santa Paula Community Healthcare Authority and the interim executive director of the Ventura Council of Governments.

He also has some history in environmental work, having “managed the implementation of a reuse plan at the former Hamilton Army Airfield,” according to the statement..

They have set the salary for Bobkiewicz, who will live in Evanston, at $185,000. He will begin work August 3.

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