After yesterday's Rally to Restore Democracy organized by OPAL at the Civic Center and last night's City Council meeting, OPAL released a statement saying it is encouraged by Evanston City Council’s decision to return to their agreement from earlier this year to conduct a City Manager search.
During last night's meeting, the Evanston City Council withdrew a motion made by Mayor Steve Hagerty at the previous meeting to immediately hire Interim City Manager Erika Storlie.
“We’re encouraged by City Council’s decision to return to a public process by referring the city manager search to the Rules Committee,” said OPAL Board Member Tiffini Holmes. “We hope that this means they will have a fair, full, and open hiring process from start to finish, with ample opportunities for public input. Evanston deserves nothing less.”
OPAL organized a petition and the rally to oppose the Mayor 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.
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.