City Council to re-interview four city manager candidates by end of April


Daily File Photo by Angeli Mittal

The Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said City Council is aiming to choose a city manager in late May.

Aviva Bechky, Assistant City Editor

Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual misconduct.

City Council interviewed five candidates at the beginning of April in its ongoing search for a new city manager, Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said at a Thursday 4th Ward meeting.

The council plans to reinterview four candidates before starting a public engagement process with about two to three finalists. The second round of interviews will take place at the end of April, and finalists will likely be presented to the public in May, Nieuwsma said. 

He estimated City Council will make its decision at the end of May, but said it would be mid-June at the earliest and possibly as late as July or August before the new city manager steps into the role.

“We want to leave some options open, but the full intent and expectation is that there will be a public engagement process,” Nieuwsma said.

The city’s search firm, Stanton Chase, identified 75 candidates in February and shared about a dozen resumes with City Council. One candidate dropped out because they didn’t want to undergo a public engagement process, Nieuwsma said.

Evanston’s previous city manager, Erika Storlie, left office in October following allegations of a culture of sexual misconduct on the lakefront.

The city hired consulting firm CPS HR to carry out the search. In January, Evanston announced Daniel Ramos and Michael Jasso as the two finalists, but Ramos withdrew his application.

City Council then restarted the search process with Stanton Chase. The city paid $70,000 for Stanton Chase, compared to $25,000 for CPS HR.

Nieuwsma said City Council is seeking someone who has a background in nonprofit, government or private sector organizations, experience with budget management and the ability to create stability during management changes. The candidate should also be prepared to enact change and act as a representative to a diverse group of people, Nieuwsma said.

In response to resident concerns at the meeting, Nieuwsma said the city is trying to balance public engagement and candidates’ hesitation around scrutiny early in the process. Because CPS HR already collected feedback on what the community wanted from a city manager, Nieuwsma said Stanton Chase was able to skip that part of the public engagement process.

Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski did not apply to become the permanent city manager, Nieuwsma said. She previously served as deputy city manager and will return to that role, he said.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @avivabechky

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