Evanston aldermen Monday night are scheduled to approve a 3.6 percent pay hike for City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, in a memo, says aldermen in executive session last month gave Bobkiewicz “an outstanding performance review.”

She said that during his five years on the job Evanston “has weathered severe financial difficulties without raising property tax for general fund expenditures and not negatively impacting city services.”

Bobkiewicz, she said, has been a key figure in that achievement — as well as others, including improved pension funding, economic development, improved customer service and leadership in sustainability, community engagement and transparency.

She also praised his work to address youth issues and dissolve Evanston Township while improving services to needy residents.

Five years ago Bobkiewicz was hired at a salary of $185,000 from the much smaller community of Santa Paula, Calif., where he had reportedly earned glowing reviews.

He arrived in Evanston to face a budget crisis triggered by the collapse of the housing market and ended up recommending a five percent pay cut for himself and city department heads, as well as substantial layoffs from the city workforce.

Under the contract to be voted on Monday, he’ll earn $201,058 this year, with the pay hike retroactive to Jan. 1. That amounts to an 8.7 percent increase over what he made when he started work in Evanston.

Updae 9/23/14: Aldermen approved the contract without dissent Monday night.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward said her vote to hire Bobkiewicz was the best vote she’s ever cast, and the vote to renew his contract is her second best vote. (More on the aldermen’s comments here.)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. You have to be kidding !!!

    After all the sweet heart deals [esp. not even consulting the Council about the Peckish Pig construction] !  He and the Council don't deserve raises—they deserve cuts.

    Why even have a Mayor and manager ?  Evanston government keeps find more ways to soak the taxpayers.

    1. Mayor and manager are different jobs

      Because a mayor and manager do not do the same job. The manager runs day to day operation. Really brief…the mayor comes up with lofty ideas and the manager has to coordinate all the leg work and research to see how it is possible to accomplish or if it is. The two jobs are not even close to the same.

      1. Thats the point

        We don't need a 'cerimnoial' mayor coming up with lofty ideas. We need only one person and that should be to do WORK.   If only the mayor would stick to cerimonial functions—cutting ribbons—we would be much better off—as would our budget.

    1. Let’s talk about accounting

      According to recent City Council meeting materials, the City issued an invoice to the restaurant for the patio work. I hope that the City tells us when the invoice has been paid so we can move on. 

      1. not the invoice

        The invoice would be nice but they could have sent multiple invoices and only show us one. We need to see all the costs brokendown. This would include:

        • This would include overtime and double time (almost all work was done on weekends)
        • The charge for the use of city equipment
        • The cost of material for building the fences
        • The cost of crushed gravel, stone, sand, and bricks
        • The cost of electrical material for outside power and lighting
        • Misc items

        I think the council was a little POed about the city managers action behind their backs but were advised not to rock the boat. Showing a lump some invoice is not going to do the trick.

  2. Biggger problems than patiogate

    At last nights Council Wally was some what vague on were the $500,000 funding for the loan would come for the Art Center.  He stated out of economic development funds, I thought during mid year budget review the fund was tapped out?  ( anyone know)

    Also we still haven't hear a word on the $80,000 study on the water tank, council members should not raise our water rates 20% on unnecessary projects.

    Last night on Harley Clarke one of the council's finanical giants ( ?) stated he was concerned about the state spending $8 million dollars on Harley Clarke, I noticed the mayor smile, I suspect they may still try to screw up the sale, but I will wait and see.

    Also I asked about the City's role in the so called Mash up – that is what the city paid and also who paid for the $95 tickets for city employees and council members?  NO answer.

    Patiogate is a mess, which may be just the being, of the future messes.

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