City Manager Search to Begin

City Council members plan talk about what qualifications they'd like to see in an Interim Manager, and how much that person would make on November 22.

After an evaluation of the candidates in a closed session December 12, the council is scheduled to appoint an interim manager on the 13th, but their president says finding a permanent manager could take three or four months.

"If we could find another Don Norrell, we'd be in great shape," said City Council President Dave Adler.

Eau Claire's City Council members are in the midst of crunch time.

A City Manager is on his way out, and the right successor probably won't come cheap.

"It may take six figures to bring a qualified city manager into town."

Council president Dave Adler calls this the most important decision the council will make in the next several months, not just because there's always the possibility of searching for other senior managers in the next year or two, but there's a projected $2 million defecit in Eau Claire for the next 2-years.

"It's going to be a challenge."

"There's no question that our expenses are still increasing faster than the city's revenue is," said Former Council President Howard White.

Budget problems are what eventually kept him from seeking re-election.

"There was really no light at the end of the tunnel."

It's not that the city didn't make cuts while he was in office, but when the state froze property taxes in an attempt to keep the burden off taxpayers, White says it made for tougher choices on the council's end, and eventually problems staying out of the red.

"There's no question i saw them."

The timing makes this hire especially important.

Adler's pretty sure they'll incorporate a national search and invest almost $20,000 in finding the best possible candidate.

"Tt's critical that we do our homework and we do a good job on the initial search."

Don Norell, the current City Manager announced about a week and a half ago that he will resign January third to take a smiliar job in a community north of Houston, Texas.

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