BREAKING NEWS: Lone City Manager finalist withdraws

Urbana City Manager Carol Mitten, the lone finalist in Evanston’s city manager search, has withdrawn her name in a mutual decision with the city that it “wasn’t the right fit” .

Credit: City of Evanston YouTube

Here is the city’s statement:

After continued discussions, the City of Evanston and Urbana City Manager Carol Mitten have decided that Ms. Mitten is not suitable for the position of Evanston city manager and will not advance as a candidate.

The City Council thanks Mrs. They spend their time throughout the hiring process and wish you the best of luck as you move forward in your career.

The City Council is currently in discussions with Interim City Manager Luke Stowe to determine next steps for the city. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Search history of the municipal administrator

On July 11, Council members named Interim City Manager and Chief Information Officer Luke Stowe as interim city manager while the city continues to hire its next city manager.

The Community Alliance for Better Government (CABG), a local activist group, led an all-out campaign against Mitten’s appointment after officials announced she was the finalist for the job in early July.

CABG members staged a protest and used social media to widely disseminate articles from a website in Urbana highlighting its role in transparency, policing and issues related to the Open Meeting Act, saying that Mitten was not compatible with Evanston.

At an often rancorous City Council meeting on July 28, with activists displaying “No Mitten” signs, Mitten said the information circulating from Urbana was “simply not true. The people who are spreading this information have a clear agenda, and that agenda means more to them than facts.”

At the meeting, she likened her role to that of a coach, working with city employees, and “helping advance a lot of your aspirational goals that need to be made tangible and then prioritized.”

This was the third unsuccessful search for city manager this year. And it’s the fourth search the city has conducted since City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz left in September 2019.

In January, while Council members were still mulling over their choice, Baltimore Administrator Daniel Ramos, their top choice, informed officials that he had accepted a job elsewhere.

Then, in May, Ann Arbor Deputy City Manager John Fournier told the city he would not take the position of Evanston city manager, after the parties failed to reach a final agreement on your employment contract.

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