DeKalb will begin search to replace retiring city manager during Winter Break

By Laura Grandt

While students relax over Winter Break, DeKalb will be busy searching for a replacement for City Manager Jim Connors, who will retire Jan. 30.

Mayor Greg Sparrow said efforts to find a replacement for Connors will culminate in interviewing six candidates on Dec. 12 and 13.

The applicants will be interviewed by four different groups, which include the council and Sparrow; a 15-member Citizens Blue Ribbon committee; a six-member group of representatives from the police, fire and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees unions; and an eight-member group representing non-union and professional staff members, Sparrow said.

The three non-council groups will present a list of the candidates they find acceptable, which the council will take to a special closed meeting on Dec. 22 with the intention of selecting a candidate, Sparrow said.

City council meetings originally were scheduled for Dec. 8 and 22. At the last meeting, the council decided to combine them into one regular meeting on Dec. 15 and the special meeting on Dec. 22.

After a candidate is chosen, Sparrow will be responsible for negotiating a contract with him or her. If the process can be done quickly, Sparrow said he would request another special meeting to be held the week of Dec. 29. The council would confirm the new manager in a closed session and then announce their selection to the public.

Sparrow said the new manager should be able to begin by Jan. 30. If plans are delayed, an interim manager will be chosen.

Replacing other retiring or retired city staff members will hinge on Connors’ replacement, Sparrow said.