The city's top-level organization chart, just after the new City Council was seated.

The City of Evanston has suffered massive turnover among top-level employees while the City Council has repeatedly failed in recent months hire a new city manager.

Four months after four new council members and a new mayor took office in May 2021, the new council engineered the exit of Erica Storlie, who’d been named to the manager’s job just six months before the April 2021 election.

The chart at the top of this story shows what the top level of the city’s org chart looked like just after the new City Council took over.

By March of this year the chart was radically different — with many positions filled by interim appointees.

And the changes have kept on coming since then, so that the org chart, best as we can tell, now looks like this.

In a little over a year, occupants of five of what were 13 top positions in city government have left, and another is heading out the door later this month. Nearly half the top positions are now filled by interim or acting appointees.

There also are big staffing gaps further down the org chart, as evidenced this week by the announcement of police department service cutbacks driven by dozens of vacancies.

Based on comments from some alders this week, it appears their latest game plan — after three failed searches for a new manager — is to give Luke Stowe an extended appointment as interim manager.

They appear to hope he’ll be able to keep the ship afloat while the alders try to get their act together and ultimately find a manager candidate they can agree on and who’s willing to take the job in the environment they’ve created.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Exactly … “who is willing to take the job in the environment they’ve created” !!!!!
    evanston city council has members who are a total embarrassment to Evanston as well as completely ignorant in terms of responsibilities!!! i mean really like “rock throwing”!!! what is happening ? Why would anyone capable and outstanding want to be part of this stupidity?

  2. An outstanding and very thought provoking article. It fairly clearly seems time to revisit the council and mayor recall issue. The City of Evanston is a multi million dollar business and needs to be treated as such.

  3. We are fortunate to live in a community with a rich diversity of ethnic backgrounds. If we wish to maintain that good fortune, we must assiduously research the employment backgrounds of applicants. If our findings fail to identify in a prospective candidate a commitment and understanding of the needs of a racially diverse community, then an interview should not be pursued in the first place.

  4. We’ve given the City Council and the Mayor an opportunity to act in favor of the City of Evanston and what we got was all politically motivated stupid actions. I’ve had enough and from the sounds of it, so have many, many others. Disappointment and now outright dumb ideas and spending money we don’t have. How did everyone like the hike in the Wheel Tax? Why? It is time we had a City Council that was acting in our behalf – in the City’s best interest instead of trying to be big shots and making time wasting and stupid ordinance revisions. Throwing rocks legal? Then let’s throw some into the ‘working’ City Council we have now!! I agree with comments that were previously made too!

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