The Evanston City Council voted Monday night to give City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz a two percent pay hike and forgive $10,000 of the principal of a no-interest city loan on his condo.

The vote followed a review of the manager’s performance in a City Council executive session last month. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, in recommending the pay hike, said she and the aldermen gave the city manager “an outstanding performance review.”

She said he received special praise for “his communication skills, creativity, transparency and ability to build partnerships in the community.”

The pay hike, retroactive to Jan. 1, brings his annual salary to $210,206.20. City payroll records indicate he also receives an additional $52,739 in pension and other benefits.

Two aldermen, Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, and Brian Miller, 9th Ward, voted against the new contract. Miller said he supported the salary hike but not the reduction of the loan balance.

During public comment, two residents, Junad Rizki and Betty Sue Ester, also said they were opposed the new contract.

The reduction in the loan balance amounts to the equivalent of a one-time bonus equal to about 4.8 percent of Bokiewicz’s base salary. The original contact when he was hired included a $200,000 loan. Bobkiewicz says the City Council also cut the loan balance by $10,000 in 2014. With the new action Monday, that brings the outstanding loan balance down to $180,000.

Bobkiewicz has now been Evanston’s city manager for seven years. In his first full year on the job, his base pay was $174,825.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Surprise, Surprise

    City government takes care of its own !

    Forgive loans, dole out raises far above when residents get, create more agencies, hire more staff, put in senseless regulations that scare business away, Build more art centers, hire more "feel good" consultants to tell us we are racists and then create more positions to solve that. Tie up in endless meetings and debates businesses/builder who actually want to create jobs. Hire outside "experts" and ignore all the knowledge and talent at NU.

    Fund every arts venue they can think of but ignore NU's arts–"need to have 'our own'."  

    Then give the bureaucrats raises for all their "good work."  Yes they protect their own.

    1. raises
      Wow..you hit that one right on the head. Wally and the council need raises like I need higher taxes….NOT ! I hope this raises him and the council members into the “affordability” level to be able to live in Evanston….ha

    2. city employees
      In the meantime,what about the real heart of city services? The everyday employees that fix your streets, trim your trees, maintain your parks and so many more behind the scenes jobs. Wally and the bureaucrats have done so much to cut them to the bone and hold the line on them. In the meantime they claim all the credit for the hard and dedicated service. Wake up Evanston!

      1. unfair ethics
        Attention citizens……VOTE THE COUNCIL PEOPLE OUT……they support Wally, and their personal pay hikes, etc…and giving tons of money to restaurants, etc., etc., etc…..Make waves and be heard!

      2. Meanwhile non-union employees

        Meanwhile non-union employees were promised a 2.5% increase in 2016 but didn't receive it.  Wally cried poor when confronted on the topic. Did you have to cut any fire or police resources for your 2% Wally? Funny how you found a way.

        Good luck to the City Manager and the inner circle once the new Mayor is sworn in. 



        1. Officers should live in town
          Well here ya go…. for everyone that wants Police Officers to live in town (but of course in the crap areas). Offer each Officer an interest-free loan to buy here, they will happily flock here. In keeping with Wally’s deal, after they’ve moved here, forgive $20,000 of their loans. BINGO, Officers live in the city !

    3. Vote out all incumbents
      Don’t forget the pay raise the city council gave itself.

      Don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad loans city officials have made such as the one to the Chicken and Waffles restaurant.

      There is a government elite class even here locally. All we can do is vote them all out of office.

  2. Excellent City Manager
    Wally Bobkiewicz is the best city manager I recall in 30 years in Evanston and we’re lucky to have him here. He’s done an excellent job guiding the city and managing the city’s resources, including its budgets and cost structure. I would be very surprised if a 2% raise is much different than the averages for our other city employees and local teachers. And if he’s gotten $20,000 in loan forgiveness over 7 years, that’s 1.5% a year, pretty modest recognition for his work to make sure that Evanston continues to thrive. We should hope it’s enough to keep him in Evanston.

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