Heidi Voorhees or GovHR USA.

Evanston city officials today said they hope to hold a community forum for the finalists to become Evanston’s next city manager the week of Oct. 5.

The search process, which was substantially delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now moving forward. Heidi Voorhees, president of GovHR USA, the executive search firm the city contracted with for the search, and her staff are reviewing 70 applications submitted for the job.

The tentative schedule calls for the City Council to receive a confidential recruitment report on Friday, Sept. 18, with names and current positions of all applicants and a short list of the candidates GovHR recommends for consideration for an interview.

The City Council will then hold an executive session from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 to review the applicants and select ones for a first round of interviews and determine the interview and public engagement process.

Those interviews will be conducted the following week and the pool of candidates will be reduced to a set of finalists during an executive session meeting.

During the week of Oct. 5 the finalists will participate in a second round of interviews with City Council and community panels, as well as a community forum.

The following week, in executive session, the City Council will identify a preferred candidate and GovHR will begin negotiations.

It’s anticipated the City Council will hold a special meeting the week of Oct. 19 to announce and approve a contract for the new city manager.

All meetings and interviews are expected to be conducted virtually.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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