City manager search focuses closer to home

After three failed outside searches for a city manager, Evanston City Council members may be looking closer to home to fill the position.

Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss talks about the search for a city manager at the Morton Civic Center. The event was hosted and conducted by the RoundTable. Reporter Bob Seidenberg questioned the mayor. Credit: Richard Cahan

Council members are expected to interview Luke Stowe, the city’s interim city manager and its chief information officer, in a special meeting set for 2 pm, Tuesday Aug. 9, the RoundTable has learned.

Council members have also set a special meeting for the following day at which the city manager position is also expected to be the focus.

City Council members have been holding meetings in closed sessions during their search for a city manager to gauge the interest of members moving forward to an official vote.

The move to consider Stowe came after city officials announced last week they were not moving forward with Urbana city administrator Carol Mitten, the lone finalist in their latest search, saying it was mutually agreed upon that she wasn’t the right fit.

Local activists waged a strong campaign against Mitten’s selection, widely circulating articles from an Urbana website critical of her record on open meetings, policing and free speech issues.

One council member, Devon Reid, 8th Ward, backing up a story in Evanston Now, said that a city staff assessment was key to the City Council’s decision.

Carol Mitten Credit: City of EvanstonYouTube

Reid said three staff members met with council members after the town hall meeting and conveyed an impression that Mitten was not a good fit for Evanston.

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