DECATUR — The Decatur City Council spent more than eight hours meeting behind closed doors Sunday, and Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe had no comment on rumors they were interviewing candidates for the open city manager’s job.
The official reason given for the meeting was to discuss personnel matters, and Moore Wolfe said she could not comment further than saying that. “Just spent a lovely day with my council behind closed doors,” she said with a smile Sunday evening. She said she had gotten home about 5:30 p.m. and the meeting had started at 8:30 a.m.
“We enjoyed each other’s company and celebrated the season, and had a little lunch,” she said of gathering.
The meeting was hosted at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, the place where council members interviewed finalists before hiring former City Manager Tim Gleason in 2015. The position has been vacant since July when Gleason left to take a similar job in Bloomington.
Asked if there would be any other long days in closed meetings with her council colleagues in the near future, the mayor would only say she has several other things to worry about on her schedule right now, including her daughter's upcoming college graduation.
Under Decatur's form of government, the city manager is the head municipal executive, responsible for hiring and firing employees and overseeing all city operations and departments. He or she is hired by and reports to the seven-member council.
The search process to fill the job is being handled by GovHR USA, a Northbrook consulting firm that specializes in recruiting local government executives. Mark Peterson, vice president of the firm and former city manager of Normal, is serving as the council's consultant for the search.
Under the GovHR contract, the city's fees are not to exceed $18,500, according to the city clerk.
A recruitment brochure put out by GovHR USA listed the salary range for the position as $175,000 to $190,000, depending on qualifications and experience.
Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus, 46, is serving in the top job on an interim basis. Tyus has said he would not seek the job permanently, citing family reasons.
The deadline for job applications for the position was Oct. 19, and the council met in closed session Nov. 27 to narrow the field of finalists.