Thursday, May 16, 2014 || By Michael Romain
MAYWOOD — At a May 14, Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Board inched a step closer to appointing Assistant Village Manager David Myers to the role of Acting Village Manager for the second time in about so many months.
Myers first assumed the position in February of this year after former Village Manager William Barlow retired in January. The understanding among the Board at the time was that Myers would serve in the capacity until another interim could be found to replace him. On April 1, 2014, Ken Lopez was hired. At the time, Lopez had expressed interest in, and was among the candidates for, the permanent Village manager position. Two weeks later, however, on April 14, he was hired as city administrator of Prospect Heights. His resignation was effective April 29.
At the LLOC meeting to discuss his hiring, Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross caused some consternation among the Board when she suggested that Myers be interviewed again before assuming the interim position.
“There are several things based on [his] resume and job description…it merits an interview,” she said.
“We [vetted] Mr. Myers under Mr. Barlow,” said Trustee Ron Rivers in response to Trustee Ealey’s suggestion. “We’ve…been there, done this. I take offense that you keep bringing up….we need to move forward. This man is doing a job for an entire Village…These attacks, they have to be stopped or curbed…He’s qualified.”
To put Tustee Rivers’s reference to “attacks” in context, Trustee Cross has come under fire recently for what many of her fellow Board members have considered her abrasive behavior. At a Board meeting last month, she was castigated for referring to Village staff members as “hired help.”
At the April 14, meeting, she apologized for similar comments, saying that they were unintentional.
Trustee Cross also questioned the Village increasing Mr. Myers’s pay without more deliberation.
According to a memo from Village attorney Michael Jurusik, “In the past, when appointing an Acting Village Manager, the person received an increase in salary for the time period while serving in the […] position, which included retroactive compensation, if appropriate.”
The memo states that Mr. Myers’s hourly rate as Assistant Village Manager was $46.63 an hour. If judging from Mr. Barlow’s last hourly rate, Mr. Myers may see an increase of about $5/hour, to $51.74.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael Rogers, speaking in his capacity as a trustee, said that he believes that the process of appointing Mr. Myers has been done properly.
“Moreover, the Village needs this gentleman to perform these functions,” he said. “It’s fair for him to be compensated wearing the multiple hats he’s already been wearing.”
According to the memo, “Mr. Myers meets the Fiscal and Investment Policy education and work experience requirements of the Village manager position.”
The Board approved for Myers’s appointment to be moved to the next regular board meeting on Tuesday, May 20, by a vote of 5-1, with Trustee Cross voting ‘No’. Mayor Perkins was absent. VFP
Correction: This article mistakenly inferred that the Board’s vote for Mr. Myers’s appointment was binding and that his appointment was finalized. It was not, sine there can be no action taken at LLOC meetings. The Board only reached a consensus to move the appointment to the next Board meeting, where it will be finalized. This article has since been emended to reflect this correction.