Rolling Meadows forms manager search committee, but some want outside help
Rolling Meadows alderman have formed a subcommittee to collect and review resumes for the open city manager job, while some -- including a former mayor -- are still calling for the city to hire an outside firm to conduct the search.
Aldermen voted 6-1 Tuesday night to form the hiring committee and approve Mayor Joe Gallo's appointments of Aldermen Lara Sanoica and Jon Bisesi to it. Alderman Kevin O'Brien was the lone "no" vote.
The panel, chaired by Gallo, will facilitate the recruitment process, collect and review resumes, conduct preliminary interviews and meetings, narrow down qualified candidates and determine finalists to be presented to the full council for ultimate selection and hiring, according to the approved council resolution.
O'Brien, who also was the lone alderman to vote against posting the city manager job listing last week, continued to call for the council to retain a firm to do the search. O'Brien and Bisesi were the only two aldermen to vote against terminating longtime City Manager Barry Krumstok on July 13.
O'Brien's latest comments came minutes after former Mayor Len Prejna -- making his first public appearance in council chambers since Gallo defeated him in the spring of 2019 -- asked the council to pay for a search firm that could update the job descriptions for city manager and assistant city manager -- an old job role that the council is considering bringing back.
"It's been over 20 years since any of this has been done. Maybe we need to have someone who has experience with that on the outside write us a new job description," Prejna said. "If you're willing to spend $100,000 or so for an assistant city manager, maybe the investment of $10,000 would be a good thing for the citizens of Rolling Meadows as you go forward with the search."
Responding to O'Brien during later council discussion, Gallo said he wanted to be clear about the intent and purpose of the hiring committee -- that it is not to hire any individual.
"What it's to do is screen the resumes and bring the most qualified individuals forward and cut out the ones that clearly miss the mark in that capacity," Gallo said. "The two members of council here are just an aid in moving all appropriate resumes to the city council for the determination of who is hired."
Committee meetings will be held according to the requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, and a vote of two will be needed to approve all motions. The panel will be dissolved when the manager position is filled by the council.
Aldermen Tuesday also approved a series of resolutions replacing Krumstok's name with that of Temporary City Manager Melissa Gallagher as the city's representative to various agencies, including the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency, which is the city's liability insurance pool. The changes will allow Gallagher, the city's finance director, to sign any necessary paperwork and provide information to the agencies.
Krumstok, city manager since 2010, had seven months left on his $195,794-a-year contract when he was fired. The day before the council voted on his termination, he sued the mayor and city, alleging employment retaliation and discrimination. Gallo has called the accusations "meritless."