Jonathan Nieuwsma. (Dan Coyne photo via Facebook Live)

Evanston Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) told residents Thursday night that he anticipates the finalists to become the new city manager will be named early in May.

Nieuwsma says, after council members held face-to-face interviews with five semi-finalists in executive session meetings last week, “I feel very enthusiastic this time around that we have a more impressive crop of semifinalists.”

The council’s first effort to find a successor to former City Manager Erika Storlie cratered in January after the finalist who had the most support among council members announced he was taking another job.

The Council then started over with a new search firm which, Nieuwsma says, produced a list of 75 candidates.

Next week, he says, council members plan to do follow up online interviews with four candidates from the semifinalist pool.

The final list disclosed to the public, he says, could have anywhere from two to four names.

He says meetings similar to those conducted for the last pool of finalists will be held. The public sessions “might be somewhat streamlined,” he says, “but I guarantee there will be a public engagement process.”

“Best case scenario,” he says, is that Evanston would have a new city manager on the job by mid-June, but “it could take until July or maybe August.”

He says Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski has not applied for the permanent position and will return to being deputy city manager once the new manager is on board.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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