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Local News

New plans made for Joliet city manager search

Interim City Manager Steve Jones
Interim City Manager Steve Jones

It was another day, so there was another twist in the saga of the city manager search.

But the Joliet City Council appeared to have come to rare agreement Tuesday on what to do about the job.

The council and Mayor Bob O’Dekirk even appeared to unanimously agree to do the search through a council committee assisted by city staff.

The decision was made after GovHR USA informed the city earlier in the day that it no longer wanted to be part of Joliet’s city manager search. The council was to vote Tuesday on whether to hire GovHR USA for the job.

The potential hiring of the firm stirred up more controversy at a City Council workshop meeting Monday with three members saying they did not want to hire GovHR USA as a recruitment firm.

Now, Joliet will do the search itself.

“We’ll take on the role. We’ll get it done,” interim City Manager Steve Jones told the council.

Jones said he consulted with Human Resources Director Kathy Franson after getting GovHR’s notice, and they decided they could do the search.

In another twist, City Attorney Martin Shanahan, who was removed as interim city manager in June in a divided vote by the council, has applied for a city manager job in Gainesville, Florida. Shanahan also is expected to apply for the Joliet job.

Shanahan’s name appeared in The Gainesville Sun as being one of 55 candidates for the job there.

Names of applicants for city manager jobs are required by Florida state law to be made public.

Illinois allows confidentiality, and O’Dekirk polled council members on whether the city should allow confidentiality or make applicants’ names public.

“I just want to put people on record,” O’Dekirk said.

The mayor said he wanted council members to be clear on what they wanted to do next, including the formation of a council search committee.

O’Dekirk and four other council members said they preferred confidentiality, and the mayor said applicants’ names would not be made public.

The mayor said he will be on the council search committee and plans to appoint council members Michael Turk and Jan Quillman to join him. He will present the committee at the next council meeting for approval.

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