Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) told residents at a ward meeting Saturday that she’s disappointed with both finalists to become Evanston’s next city manager.

The search firm running the city manager search “didn’t do a good job,” Fleming said.

She said that at the moment she’s not inclined to vote for either of the finalists — Michael Jasso, an assistant city manager in Sacramento, California, or Daniel Ramos, deputy chief administrative officer for the City of Baltimore, Maryland.

Neither of the candidates would be her number one choice for the job, Fleming said. “Given the amount of things that need to get done in the city, I’m not convinced either one could come in the door and get it done.”

She noted the need to fill several top-level positions in city departments — including police chief, two deputy city manager positions and a human resources director.

Fleming also noted that she had not supported Evanston’s last city manager, Erika Storlie, who spent less than a year on the job before resigning under pressure.

“People I’ve heard from do like Mr. Ramos better,” Fleming added, “But I still have my concerns. “I’m going to see if I can get to a soft yes, but I don’t think I’m going to get there.”

However she added that the option of hiring a new consulting firm and re-starting the search for a new city manager would be “rolling the dice” about whether a new search would yield a better result, and she seemed disinclined to do that.

Fleming has announced plans to resign from the City Council following the Feb. 14 meeting at which council members are expected to vote on naming a new manager.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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