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Joliet council to begin search for new city manager

To begin the search for a new city manager, the Joliet City Council discussed the hiring process that will ensue at their April 12 special meeting.

City Manger Jim Hock recently announced to the council that he is going to retire on May 3.

“My choice is we shouldn’t wait two weeks to address what we’re going to do,” Mayor Bob O’DeKirk said. “Last time when Tom Thanas left, it took us about six months to get the replacement hired and then up and going. So, I thought we should jump on this right away.”

Hock is in the third year of his contract working for the City of Joliet. The last time the city performed a search for city manager, officials selected GovHR to assist in the search and paid the consulting firm $18,354.

“I think GovHR did a great job,” O’Dekirk said. “We got about 80 or 90 applicants, and it led to a number of meetings and interviews that the council had to do to get to the final answer, but I thought the process worked well. So, my recommendation would be that we move forward with this again.”

Councilman John Gerl agreed.

“The process worked well last time,” he said. “When we did the search when Tom Thanas retired and needed someone to be the point person to sift through all those resumes, I thought it worked well.”

This consulting firm, which is based in Northbrook, intends to have the search wrapped up in three months. They, too, are working with Joliet to address some non-union compensation matters.

Councilman Terry Morris questioned what the city should do in the meantime.

O’Dekirk explained what he thinks will happen is the city will need to look internally or reach outward for a temporary city manager.

Part of the recruitment process requires the creation of a community profile that describes what the officials are seeking when they look for a new hire. If the city chooses to use a different consulting firm, that company will need to compile this brochure, whereas GovHR already has composed theirs and would only need to update it.

The matter is to be addressed further by the council at their April 18 meeting, at which time officials will consider accepting a proposal for recruitment services with GovHR to find a new city manager.

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