Thursday, MAYWOOD — At a January 21, Legal License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Village Board unanimously moved to begin a national search to replace outgoing Village Manager William Barlow, who is retiring from municipal government effective January 31, 2014. Mr. Barlow has said that his decision was motivated primarily by health concerns. Attorney Michael Jurusik noted that the Village’s investment policy stipulates that the Board hire a new manager within 90 days of the position being vacated.
Mr. Barlow and Mr. Jurusik recommended that the Board emulate the search process that the Village implemented two-and-half years ago, which resulted in Mr. Barlow’s hiring.
According to Mr. Jurusik, the Board conducted a national search and he published job descriptions in the publications of leading trade organizations, such as the International City Managers Association and the National League of Cities.
“With those targeted areas, you really do pick up everybody in the village manager industry,” Mr. Jurusik said.
He also noted that during the last search process, the Board placed candidate resumes in three piles: one where they met the minimum professional and education requirements; one where they didn’t; and another where they fell somewhere in between (i.e., a candidate could have the requisite professional experience, but not the minimum educational background).
They then came up with a shortlist of about 10-12 candidates and rated the candidates by numbers. The Board conducted a first round of interviews of these shortlist candidates before they narrowed the list further and conducted another round. Finally, they narrowed the list to about 3-4 candidates and selected from that small group.
Based on his direct experience with the last search process, Mr. Barlow said that the current search process should last between 4-6 months. In the meantime, the Board was given a packet of several resumes of candidates who might be qualified to serve as interim village managers. Mr. Barlow assured the Board that all of the interim village manager candidates except one had prior village manager experience.
There was some consternation, however, about why the Village would go outside to look for an interim manager when it has an assistant village manager in Mr. David Myers, who one citizen thought would be the putative next-in-line in the event that the village manager position was vacated.
Although the possibility of appointing Mr. Myers, who was hired last year, as interim village manager, wasn’t ruled out, Mr. Barlow indicated that it might not be the optimum decision.
“We do have a capable assistant village manager,” Mr. Barlow said, “but he didn’t necessarily sign on to be village manager for an extended period of time. It’s important for the Board to have a dialogue with David and lay out some of the options I mentioned to him.”
The motion to engage in a national search for village manager, to implement a candidate ratings system, and to direct Mr. Jurusik and Mr. Barlow to begin to prepare position credentials, a timeline for moving through the hiring process, and a preliminary state of the village report (which would include draft reports from each of the village departments that mention both its present state and future needs) for discussion at the next LLOC was passed unanimously.
However, it wasn’t passed without some objections, namely that coming from Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross, who said that the Village Board didn’t appear to establish enough ownership over the process.
“There’s [some] delegation that’s being removed form the Board and [being given to others]. This Board is responsible for the national search….this Board has to identify what its vision is and share that with the candidate it chooses as manager….I hope we can start taking ownership….of what we’re charged to do.”
Trustee Michael Rogers responded by noting that the Board is fundamentally limited by how much it can do and how much it knows, which is why it has to trust the legal and municipal professionals to do their jobs in such a way that allows the Board to make the right decisions. VFP