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Local News

Council picks Hock for interim city manager

Former Joliet City Manager Jim Hock is coming back as interim city manager on Wednesday.
Former Joliet City Manager Jim Hock is coming back as interim city manager on Wednesday.

Former Joliet City Manager Jim Hock will take the job again on an interim basis starting Wednesday.

The Joliet City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to hire Hock, who will come in as the third interim city manager in less than two years.

Hock, who retired in May 2017, will be working on a contract that pays him based on an annual salary of $215,000, although he is not expected to be in the job for a year.

He will be a direct employee of the city, unlike departing interim City Manager Steve Jones, who worked on a contract through GovTemps USA while collecting his pension after retiring from the city.

"Mr. Hock is suspending his retirement," Councilman Larry Hug said as he voted to hire Hock. "He's not double dipping. That's a man after my own heart."

Mayor Bob O'Dekirk said Hock's term is for three months, and the council will consider continuing his contract after that on a month-to-month basis.

O'Dekirk said the search for a permanent city manager is still at least a two-to-three month process once it begins.

Joliet in June hired Slavin Management Consultants to conduct a search and find candidates. O'Dekirk said the search process has not started yet.

"I met with Slavin this week," O'Dekirk said. "They now want to meet with individual council people and then begin the process."

The search will take 60 to 90 days before candidate interviews begin, O'Dekirk said.

Interviews also can take several weeks depending on how many candidates the council wants to interview and how many interviews it does. The last search ended in February with the council unwilling to choose from two finalists.

Hock had served as city manager from December 2013. He was the last city manager in Joliet to serve out his contract.

The city has not had a permanent city manager since David Hales left with a buyout after less than a year on the job in October 2018. He had more than two years remaining on his contract.

The council was divided a year ago when it considered bringing Hock back as interim city manager a year ago and opted instead for Jones.

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