Jeff Perkins, the new lead consultant on the Evanston city manager search, in an image from the Stanton Chase website.

Evanston’s City Council is scheduled to vote Monday to spend $70,000 on a new firm to pick up the search for a new city manager.

That’s nearly three times the $25,000 the city spent to hire the last consulting firm, California-based CPS HR.

The city’s new consulting choice is Stanton Chase, a Baltimore-based executive search firm with dozens of offices around the world.

The head of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, Jeff Perkins, whose company biography says he has done searches for clients in “aerospace, technology, digital and media,” would lead the search effort for Evanston.

The search by CPS HR collapsed when the finalist who apparently had the most backing among council members bolted to take a job in Houston.

The previous search that led to the promotion of Erika Storlie into the city manager role was conducted by Northbrook-based GovHR USA for $23,500.

That’s the same firm that conducted the search more than a decade ago that led to the hiring of Wally Bobkiewicz as city manager.

GovHR USA includes several former Evanston department heads on its staff, and after several council members became unhappy with Storlie, leading to her resignation under pressure last year, GovHR’s association with former city staffers seemed to be toxic for most alders and so it was ruled out as a consultant for the current search.

After the CPS HR search collapsed, Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) said finding a more generalist search firm “will get us a stronger field of candidates.”

He added that the new firm would likely cost at least a few thousand more than what the city spent on CPS HR — a forecast that looks like an understatement now that the cost of hiring Stanton Chase has come to light.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. If there were 2 finalists from the last search, what was the issue with the runner-up? How many times has the second-best turned out to be the star? Seems we like to shoot ourselves in the foot. And spend more money.

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