Janesville73.9°

Council hires Levitt

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
October 1, 2008
— Eric Levitt will start as Janesville’s new city manager Tuesday, Dec. 16.

He replaces Steve Sheiffer, who recently retired after 21 years.


This week, a delegation of council members and a resident traveled to Sedona, Ariz., where Levitt is city manager.


Delegation members are “completely satisfied with what we’ve found out here in Sedona,” said Amy Loasching, council president.


The Janesville Gazette interviewed Loasching by telephone as the delegation headed to the airport late this morning. The group will return tonight.


“I am very excited to be able to waive the contingency (the site visit) and offer Eric Levitt the position of new city manager,” Loasching said.


She expects that Levitt will sign the contract at City Hall in Janesville on Thursday morning. Levitt and his family are traveling to Janesville to look at houses and schools.


“Everyone here in the delegation is very excited,” Loasching said.


Other members include council Vice President Bill Truman, councilman Tom McDonald and community member Mary Willmer-Sheedy.


“We learned lots of interesting facts about Mr. Levitt,” Loasching said.


The delegation conducted scheduled and random interviews and couldn’t find anyone who didn’t like Levitt.


“Councilmember Tom McDonald made it his mission to try to find someone who didn’t like Mr. Levitt,” Loasching said. “We didn’t find anyone who could honestly say they didn’t like the man.”


Loasching said Sedona residents told the delegation that Levitt makes things happen; that he is flexible and strategic; that he reacts well to challenges; that he is detailed, shares ideas and is open to new ideas; and that he is always searching to do better.


“We think he’ll be a great fit for Janesville,” Loasching said.


Willmer-Sheedy, market president at M&I Bank, was a member of a community panel that interviewed city manager candidates, and she accompanied the delegation at her own expense.


The interviews with community members “exceeded my expectations as far as his working relationships with everyone in the community,” Willmer-Sheedy said.


The delegation heard positive comments from residents, who cited examples of both city and nonprofit projects that Levitt worked on, Willmer-Sheedy said.


“He has great leadership and will be a wonderful addition to the community,” Willmer-Sheedy said. “His whole family will be.”


The council will vote to ratify Levitt’s contract in open session Monday, Oct. 13.


Levitt’s salary will not be disclosed until then, although the council advertised it as being in the range of $140,000.


Levitt must give 60 days notice in Sedona. Levitt plans to move his family here to be ready to start at City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 16, Loasching said.


Loasching said she is excited and hopeful about the new city manager.


“I’m just really looking forward to Mr. Levitt coming into Janesville and helping us move Janesville forward,” she said.



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