City Council selects one city manager finalist, plans to host forum July 27

Carol Mitten poses for a photo. The picture is Black and White and she is wearing a dark colored top and wide frame glasses. There is a painting in the background.

Source: City of Evanston

Carol Mitten, the council’s pick to serve as next city manager, currently works as the city administrator for Urbana.

Yiming Fu, Managing Editor

After 14 months of searching and about $95,000 spent on search firms, City Council is presenting Evanston with a single candidate for the next city manager.

The city announced Wednesday that Carol Mitten, the city administrator for Urbana, will oversee Evanston’s day-to-day government operations if confirmed. 

Mitten previously worked as the deputy county manager of Arlington County, Virginia, where she oversaw economic development and public works, including transportation and sustainability. She also brings more than 35 years of diverse management experience and a “deep passion and appreciation for local government,” according to the city’s news release. 

For the previous two failed city manager searches, which culminated in January and May, respectively, the city announced two candidates and introduced them both to the public in a town hall forum. This is the first time City Council has announced a singular finalist without a public engagement process beforehand.

While some raised transparency concerns at a town hall forum last week, Mayor Daniel Biss said a more public engagement process, which includes introducing two finalists to the public, narrows the field of candidates who are interested in the position.

The city manager is tasked with managing the budget, keeping the city on track to meet its goals and filling  important vacancies, including finding a permanent police chief. Evanston’s city manager search has been mired in concerns over racial equity and transparency

Biss will moderate a town hall forum to introduce Mitten to the community on July 27 at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. 

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