Illinois company to lead Janesville city manager search

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staff, Gazette
Thursday, May 9, 2013

— What qualities and attributes would you like to see in Janesville’s next city manager?

City residents can make their opinions known at a public input session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday on the fourth floor of City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.

All residents are welcome to attend. No appointments are needed.

Former City Manager Eric Levitt’s last day was Tuesday. He is the new city manager in Simi Valley, Calif. Assistant City Manager Jay Winzenz is interim city manager.

Karl Nollenberger of Voorhees Associates, Janesville’s recruitment consultant, will conduct the Tuesday session.

Residents planning to attend can prepare for the discussion by going online to ci.janesville.wi.us/CMInput.

Residents should think about the following questions:

-- What type of professional experience should Janesville’s next city manager have?

-- What management style should the new city manager have?

-- What qualities, traits and necessary skills should he or she have?

-- What short-term (less than one year) community challenges and opportunities will the new manager face?

-- What long-term (two to five years) community challenges and opportunities will he or she experience?

The questions also can be answered online. The survey will be available at ci.janesville.wi.us/CMInput through Tuesday.

The city council hired Voorhees Associates, headquartered in Illinois, to aid the search for a new city manager. The same company about five years ago led the process that resulted in Levitt’s hire in Janesville.

Karl Nollenberger of the company is leading the search. He is a professor at UW-Oshkosh and a former city manager. He recently helped Whitewater find its new city manager.

The council has approved spending $3,000 on the first step of the search process, which includes gathering community feedback. The council can then opt to screen its own candidates or ask the firm to bring in a roster of candidates for interviews.

The final cost to hire Levitt in 2008 was estimated Monday at about $30,000. That, however, included two rounds of interviews. Levitt was not interviewed during the first round.

If the council goes forward with the next phase after the initial information gathering, Nollenberger estimated the cost would be $10,000 to $13,000. He said his firm has lowered its prices, and Janesville qualifies for a $2,000 discount because it previously hired the company.

Nollenberger also will interview city council members, city staff, city employee union members and community representatives.

Information gathered will be given to the city council.

Last updated: 10:38 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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