Guest Editorial – Report on candidates

Note:  The search firm used by Bloomington, GovHR, also found David Hales for Joliet.  They neglected to tell the Joliet Council about the pending Coliseum prosecutions that happened under Hales’ watch.  What are they not telling Bloomington about the two candidates they presented?

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A quick review: Citizens were given the opportunity to meet the three candidates who are finalists for the position of City Manager. Approximately 50 people attended, including Council members, media and Staff. A packet was provided which contained a summary of their previous experience and a link to “surveymonkey” so attendees could give feedback to the City Council for their choice of City Manager.

The local media provided very little information.

https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/city-manager-candidates-outline-what-sets-them-apart/article_94ac322f-29ca-5994-bf44-74faf00e6889.html

The citizens are poorly informed but the Council is requesting feedback about who to hire for the top job of the City! There is no value to the feedback from the citizens.

The Council needs to make the decision by using consensus so the appearance of the vote is unanimous.

There are and will be serious challenges facing our community for the next several years. It is my opinion that business decisions should not be based on popularity or politics but rather on data. Here are some facts that were not provided by the recruitment firm.

Tim Gleason:

Mr. Gleason was City Manager for two and one half years in Washington, IL.

Population in 2014 was 15,816.

Estimated median household income in 2016 was $71,671

The City’s current annual budget is approximately $19M.

The number of City employees is 80.

The City of Washington has a PARK DISTRICT & FOUNDATION

The number of employees for the Park District is 76.

The City of Washington is a lovely little town but is not at all comparable to the City of Bloomington in relation to population or budget.

Bloomington’s population is 78,000 with a median household income of $58,000. Bloomington employs just over 700 individuals and has a $214M budget.

Decatur is considered comparable to Bloomington with a current population of 72,000 which has been declining for several years. The estimated median household income is $33,000. Its annual budget is $170M. Mr. Gleason has served as city manager of Decatur since March 23, 2015.

During Mr. Gleason’s tenure in Decatur, bonds were issued for revitalization of Downtown with the purpose of improving the economy. (Sound familiar?) However, the media reported that he presented and the Council approved the current budget containing a $3M deficit. It is the primary responsibility of the City Manager to oversee the budget and provide one that is balanced.

https://herald-review.com/news/local/decatur-city-council-passes-budget-with-million-deficit/article_99341a44-2d28-5e78-92b3-3dc1a15d3843.html

The media also reported that during Mr. Gleason’s tenure, a contract with the Public Safety providers has not been negotiated. The Public Safety providers have been without a contract for 3 years. Mr. Gleason spent most of his career in law enforcement. It is concerning as to why he is unable to negotiate contracts with the personnel of this vital service.

https://herald-review.com/news/after-more-than-years-police-union-and-city-haven-t/article_a9bde1c3-828e-5311-bed0-72cbc491f40f.html

Lastly, during Mr. Gleason’s tenure in Decatur, Moody’s downgraded Decatur’s credit rating as a result of significant debt, depletion of Reserve Funds and the underfunding of Police Pensions.

https://herald-review.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/moody-s-downgrades-decatur-credit-rating/article_edf711c1-aecd-5205-b485-ed1467758de7.html

Do the elected officials of Bloomington want to go forward in this direction? I hope not! How could he have even considered as a finalist?

Jim Cullotta:

Mr. Colletta has a variety of experiences, most in small communities. The dates of his service are not included in the material provided. Fishers, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis, most closely resembles the City of Bloomington. IL.

1. Fishers, IN is a small city of about 86,000 just 16 miles from Indianapolis and located along the West Fork of the White River.

The estimated median household income in 2016 was $97,906.

There are 16 parks.

The number of City employees is 375 with a budget of about $60M

2. Cedarburg, WI

The population in 2010 was 11,412.

The town is located just 20 miles north of Milwaukee and situated on the beautiful Cedar Creek, near Lake Michigan

3. Barrington, IL

Is the Seventh-wealthiest ZIP code in the United States among areas with a population of 20,000 or more.

The population was 10,327 in 2010

The number of Village employees is 120.

The Village total budget expenditures were approximately $35M for FY2010

The Barrington Park District administers several Barrington area parks

The number of employees for the Park District is 314

Mr. Colotta is currently City Administrator of Washington, IL, the City where Mr. Gleason was previously employed until March 2015. Washington could be considered a suburb of Peoria.

Washington, IL

The population in 2014 was 15,816

The estimated median household income in 2016: $71,671

The City’s current annual budget is approximately $19M.

The number of City employees is 80.

The City of Washington has a Park District & a Park Foundation.

The number of employees for the Park District is 76.

The City of Washington is a lovely little town but is not at all comparable to the City of Bloomington in relation to population or budget.

Bloomington’s population is 78,000 with a median household income of $58,000. Bloomington employs just over 700 individuals and has a $214M budget.

Although Mr. Colotta is amicable and articulate, he lacks the experience to lead the City of Bloomington at this time of challenging, financial uncertainty. One has to wonder why he “downsized” from a City in proximity to Indianapolis, a city similar to Bloomington, to a small town in Central IL or the other small towns he worked at.

Did the recruitment service, GovHR USA, from Northbrook, IL do their due diligence before recommending these candidates as finalists? Were the other applicants less qualified or did they withdraw from contention? We’ll never know.

 

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Comments

  1. mittenpaws says:

    The search firm was paid $20,000 for this!?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cavewoman says:

    It seems like these people looking for new jobs are always running away from trouble they caused. Rasmussen is the best choice. Has proved himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BN Deserves Better says:

      Agreed. Rasmussen is the best choice…that’s why I worry Tari won’t pick him. Talk around town is that the job should go to Rasmussen, hands down. Hopefully, the Council is listening to the people. Hey, there’s a first for everything, right?

      Like

  3. This is the best of everyone who applied?

    Like

  4. Anyone wonder why our Bloomington budget is $200 M + and Fisher IN budget is $60 M with more citizens (86,000)?

    Like

  5. If you want a pushover…someone who will kowtow to council and provide little of any leadership…Rasmussen is your guy. Nice guy; not the right guy.

    Like

    • Angela Scott says:

      Tari is that you?

      Like

    • @Rich—the City Manager’s role is to offer recommendations to the Council and make sure the Council’s decisions are carried out. Rasmussen is doing his job. Under Hales, the Council just did what Hales told them to do. The City Manager is not elected and is not to make policy. Understand how the City’s form of government works?

      Like

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