Talks to start on profile for city manager

Talks to start on profile for city manager

CHAMPAIGN — The first of two Champaign City Council meetings this week will focus on what elected officials and residents want out of their next city manager as administrators look to fill the position that Steve Carter will vacate in March.

Council members are scheduled to hold a facilitated discussion on the job profile Monday (tonight, Nov. 19) at 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave., C. They will meet again for their regularly scheduled weekly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

At their disposal, council members will have 15 pages' worth of public input that city officials have collected via phone, mail-in and electronic surveys during the past two weeks. There will be one last opportunity for public input in front of the city council as it convenes its meeting tonight.

Residents were asked what they see as the biggest challenges facing the city and what kind of experience and management styles they would like to see in the next city manager.

Many residents said they would like a new city manager to focus on maintaining core services like police, fire and public works during a sluggish economic period. Others said they were interested in business development, crime, neighborhood issues, infrastructure or relationships between community members.

And that's just a small sampling of their responses.

Last month, Carter announced that he will retire at the end of March 2013. That will cap a 28-year tenure for him as Champaign's city manager — a significantly long time considering that the average length of employment for his three predecessors was about nine years.

Finalizing a job profile — which the council will help construct tonight and finalize on Nov. 27 — is one of the first steps in advertising the job opening.

At some point soon, council members will also need to discuss a salary range, a more specific timetable for hiring a new city manager, how to advertise the position, whether to hire a consultant to recruit candidates, how to determine which candidates to interview and the interview process itself.