Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski announces departure

A straight-on portrait of Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski. The background behind her is plain gray.

Source: City of Evanston

Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski. Gandurski announced she will leave the city on July 11. Since September, Evanston has led two unsuccessful searches to find a permanent replacement for her role.

Yiming Fu, Managing Editor

Evanston’s city manager is on her way out.

Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski will leave the city on July 11 for a land use and government law firm. City Council selected Gandurski as the Interim City Manager in September following former City Manager Erika Storlie’s departure amid several allegations of a culture of sexual misconduct at the lakefront. 

 “I am proud of the work that we’ve accomplished together during this short time, and I look forward to seeing the community build on the progress that has been made on so many fronts,” Gandurski said in a Tuesday news release. “Thank you to the City Council and the entire Evanston community for providing me the opportunity to serve in this critical role and to lead such fine, professional and capable staff.”

The city manager is responsible for overseeing City Council’s policies and goals and preparing the annual budget. Mayor Daniel Biss described the city manager as “the CEO of Evanston.” 

Since Storlie’s resignation, the city has led two unsuccessful city manager searches to permanently fill her position. The city announced two final candidates — Michael Jasso and Daniel Ramos — in January, but restarted the search after Jasso withdrew his application to accept a job in another city.

After hiring a new search firm, the City Council confirmed John Fournier as the new city manager in May, but he declined the offer citing a lack of payment assistance for relocating his family. 

In total, the city has spent about $95,000 to find its next city manager.

In an April ward meeting, Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said Gandurski did not apply for the city manager position and intended to return to her previous role of deputy city manager after the city found a permanent replacement for her position. 

Biss will host a town hall meeting on the city manager search process on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. The city plans to release information about appointing a new interim city manager shortly. 

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