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.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.