City Council and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz have agreed to extend Mr. Bobkiewicz’s contract indefinitely, subject to annual review. As with the initial 2009 contract between Mr. Bobkiewicz and the City, there is no termination date.
Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, said the contract extension “comes to us following our annual review of the City Manager.” The review process changed this year, she said, in that the review committee sought input from others outside the Council itself. City Staff submitted comments, for example. She called the process a “robust, instructive review.
“Voting to approve Wally’s first contract was the best vote I ever cast,” Ald. Grover added. “Hopefully, this will be the second best. I’m a ‘yes’ on this.”
“I was wondering which way you were going to go,” quipped Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward. She said that since Mr. Bobkiewicz’s arrival, Evanston has received more awards and appeared on more “top ten” and “top five” lists than ever before. “That is because of your leadership,” she said to Mr. Bobkiewicz.
“I’ll say ditto to all that,” said Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, who chaired the evaluation committee. “We did make a change” to the process, she said. “I thought the change was for the better.” The committee conducted their version of “the 360 evaluation,” she said.
Under the new contract, Mr. Bobkiewicz will remain City Manager until he resigns or Council terminates his contract. He will remain subject to annual reviews, including an annual review of his salary.
Benefits under the new contract include a salary of just over $200,000 per year, deferred compensation of $10,000 per year, a $500/month car allowance, life insurance, and an interest- free home loan of $190,000 (reduced from an initial $200,000). The home loan will be repaid at the earlier of two dates: one year after the termination of Mr. Bobkiewicz’s employment with the City or the date of closing of sale of property. Mr. Bobkiewicz will pay a 4% interest on the loan during the period between the date of termination and the sale of the property.
Mayor Elisabeth Tisdahl wrote in a memo accompanying the contract, “The City Council and I gave the City Manager an outstanding performance review.” She also highlighted some of the accomplishments of the City over the past five years, such as “weather[ing] severe financial difficulties without raising the property tax for General Fund expenditures [taxes were raised for pension contributions] and not negatively impacting City services,… progress in better funding its pension funds… Economic Development… [and] the creation of [the] 3-1-1 [call center].”