Without a city manager in place, Rolling Meadows aldermen delay decision on whether to hire an assistant, too

  • Jenifer Vinezeano

    Jenifer Vinezeano

  • Kevin O'Brien

    Kevin O'Brien

 
 
Updated 7/23/2021 2:30 PM

Rolling Meadows aldermen have postponed a decision on whether to bring back an administrative position -- assistant city manager -- until they hire a new city manager.

During closed session meetings for more than a year, the city council has been debating the necessity of a second-in-command to help run day-to-day operations at city hall. The topic was also a point of disagreement among the candidates during the April aldermanic elections.

 

The new council was set to have its first open session committee discussion on the matter this week, but the meeting agenda was set before the council's 5-2 vote June 13 to fire City Manager Barry Krumstok.

The vote came a day after Krumstok filed suit against Mayor Joe Gallo and the city, alleging his dismissal stems from a personal vendetta dating back to 2019. Gallo has denied the allegations.

Krumstok had prepared a memo to the council in late May that outlined a possible timeline to bring back the assistant city manager position: a first reading ordinance vote June 22, advertising for the job and interviews in July and August, and a Sept. 13 start date.

For now, without a city manager or assistant city manager in place, Gallo has named Finance Director Melissa Gallagher acting city manager.

Alderman Jenifer Vinezeano, who has been advocating for the new position, said the current situation is a "prime example" of why an assistant city manager is needed.

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"Because if we had one established when we asked for one a year and a half ago, we wouldn't be in a position that we're in right now," Vinezeano said. "It's imperative that we find a city manager that is willing to work with us in creating this position so that we can get the right job description and then get the right candidate for our city."

Alderman Kevin O'Brien proposed postponing discussion on whether to establish the new job -- which his colleagues unanimously agreed to for now -- but O'Brien also said he's not convinced the role is necessary.

"I'm still not sold on the need for it, and I think this is even more reason to pause until there is a full-time city manager in place because we don't know what he or she may want to do," O'Brien said.

During the election, Vinezeano said things fell by the wayside when Krumstok was out of the office for a time last year, and that it's necessary to spend the money on the new job to make sure the city continues to function and prosper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Opponents have questioned the cost of the position, which would be within a salary range of $116,510 to $145,481.

The position was initially created in 2005, and Krumstok held the title until he was promoted upon the departure of Sarah Phillips in 2010. The position was formally struck from city code a year later.

The council hasn't yet announced a timeline to hire Krumstok's replacement.

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