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Demand a public process in the search for City Manager

Rules Committee meets tonight at 5 p.m.

Last Monday, ahead of that night's City Council meeting, OPAL held a (socially distanced) Rally to Restore Democracy outside the Civic Center to demand a fair and public process in selecting Evanston's next City Manager and received 340 signatures on its petition.

The actions were organized to oppose Mayor Hagerty's and City Council's May 26 decision to move forward with hiring Interim City Manager Erika Storlie as permanent City Manager without a full and open public process as promised in previous meetings.

At that night's City Council meeting, under pressure, Evanston's City Council was persuaded to return to its agreement from earlier in the year to return to a public process by referring the city manager search to the City's Rules Committee. 

That committee meets today at 5 p.m., and OPAL is asking for residents to contact their alderpersons and the Mayor ahead of it to demand a national search, a public process, community input--including prior to recruitment and interviewing, and specific plans for recruiting diverse applicants.

  • Residents who wish to make a public comment can sign up here by 4:45 p.m. today.

  • See pages 10-11 of the agenda packet for item R1.

  • To watch the meeting click here at 5 p.m.

In a March 2 article, Evanston Review reporter Genevieve Bookwalter reported on the schedule that was set by City Council to hire a new city manager. You can read that article here. The schedule reflected that aldermen would pick the five to seven candidates they want to interview, and the top three finalists would meet with the public before a final decision was made.

Though the pandemic has thrown every and all schedules for a loop, it's important--more now than ever--that the city council stick to the plan it agreed to, conduct a thorough search, and include public participation in selecting Evanston's next city manager.

Evanston has had far too long a history of racial discrimination not to ensure that the position for the most powerful position in the City is filled through a thorough, transparent process with an eye toward equity.

Here's a list of City Council members and their email addresses.


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