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Local News

Joliet creates new economic development position, close on naming city manager

Joliet City Hall
Joliet City Hall

JOLIET – One of the first jobs of the next city manager will be to “weigh in” on a choice for an economic development specialist.

The Joliet City Council agreed last week to create the new position of economic development specialist but leave it unfilled until the next city manager is hired.

A decision on the next city manager should be coming soon, Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said Friday.

“I’d say in the next week or so there should be an announcement,” O’Dekirk said.

O’Dekirk and most council members agreed that the city needed to create the specialist position, which would pay between $50,000 and $67,000, as an assistant to Economic Development Director Steve Jones.

“I think we’ve seen the payoff of the economic development director,” O’Dekirk said at a council meeting Tuesday.

O’Dekirk and council members said they believe Jones needs help because of the amount of potential business activity in the city. Jones, whose position was created in December 2015, also serves as deputy city manager.

Council member Pat Mudron was the only vote against the change, saying the city should wait until the city manager is hired before making a decision on creating a new position.

Other council members agreed to create the position but told staff to keep it open until the city manager is hired.

“We’re so close to hiring a new city manager that he should have some sort of weigh-in on this,” council member Don Dickinson said.

Although the city might be close to naming its choice for city manager, a start date is at least 60 days away, O’Dekirk said, before the new hire can leave a current position.

O’Dekirk did not say whether the council has decided who should be hired.

Interim City Manager Marty Shanahan said there will be one more closed session on the matter, likely after the workshop council meeting Sept. 18. The council held its last closed session for interviews after Tuesday’s council meeting.

Former City Manager Jim Hock retired in May.

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