Bloomington City Council May Decide City Manager's Fate This Fall | WGLT

Bloomington City Council May Decide City Manager's Fate This Fall

Jul 25, 2017

Another evaluation of City Manager David Hales' status is likely this fall, Bloomington's mayor said Tuesday.

This fall would also be when the Bloomington City Council would have to decide to either move forward with Hales or initiate a search for a new city manager. Hales current contract expires July 11, 2018. 

Hales has applied for at least two city manager positions in 2017: Racine, Wisconsin, and Topeka, Kansas. Hales was in Topeka last week for interviews.  

"He did have a contract that was renewed by the city council for a year and a half, and it's not unusual for city managers to look for other jobs," said Mayor Tari Renner during GLT's Sound Ideas. "You come in for four, five or six (years). Seven years is kind of a usual outer limit. Mr. Hales has been here for over eight years.

"It's not unusual for city managers to look for a new set of tasks or a new set of challenges," he added.

Renner told Sound Ideas in May 2016, when Hales' most recent contract was approved, that if re-elected he'd get to help lead an effort to find a new city manager. Renner has backed off that position somewhat, saying that Hales could ask for an extension or the council could offer an extension or a new contract. Renner also said the process to find a new city manager could take eight to 10 months, meaning aldermen would have to begin a search process as early as September.

"It would need to happen in the fall," said Renner. "And that's where we sometimes also start the process for an annual evaluation. The annual evaluation is separate from a possible contract extension. So a contract extension would be a more thorough deep dive. An evaluation is just what happened in the last year, and we give a ranking and determine a raise and how large the raise is. So I think by this fall, that conversation will need to begin to happen."

Renner declined to say which direction the council could move toward: considering a contract extension or initiating a search for a new city manager.

"This is the Bloomington City Council. You can't predict that," said Renner.

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