EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Evanston Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty on Wednesday swore in Erika Storlie as the north suburban city’s ninth city manager, while also announcing that he himself will not be running for reelection.
Evanston has operated a council-manager form of government since 1952. Under that model, the city manager leads and oversees the city’s 800 employees and helps staff implement the City Council’s vision and policies. The city manager rather than the mayor is also responsible for drafting the budget in Evanston.
Storlie and her wife, Kristi, live in Evanston with their four children. Storlie rose through the ranks starting as an analyst for the City of Evanston in 2004, and became the interim city manager a year ago after the previous city manager, Wally Bobkiewicz, resigned.
Hagerty credited Storlie for her achievements as interim city manager – including appointing Ike Ogbo as the Evanston Health & Human Services director to lead the city through the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing the city’s finances so that the 2020 deficit was kept down to only 10 percent of the General Fund budget.
“Erika’s values are Evanston’s values. She demands good government. She treats people with respect and fairness. She does not cater to one elected official over another. She is a problem solver. She cares deeply about the environment, racial equity, affordable housing, and good policing. She negotiates well on our behalf and always has the City’s best interest in mind. She is just the type of person we should want in this 24/7 demanding job; a job where many difficult decisions need to be made that inevitably leave some angry and vocal,” Hagerty wrote. “I am confident Erika will lead with integrity and help us continue on our quest to be one of the most livable cities in America.”
Meanwhile, Hagerty announced that he will not be seeking reelection in April of next year.
“This was not an easy decision. I love this City. I love many of the City staff, elected officials, community partners, and residents I get to work and interact with on a daily basis. But, most importantly, I love what we have accomplished together over the last four years, in spite of a current global pandemic, economic downturn, contentious differences, and the rising public distrust that exists for our elected leaders and government institutions,” Hagerty wrote.
Hagerty emphasized that Evanston has significant challenges ahead when it comes to rebuilding the economy, balancing the budget, and addressing socioeconomic and racial disparities.
“I am proud of what I, the City Council, our indefatigable staff, and the citizens of Evanston have set as our agenda on these issues,” Hagerty wrote. “But I think it is time to take a break and allow for another to take the role of Mayor and help us continue to move forward.”
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Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony