By Anna Lothson
The Oak Park Village Board of Trustees may have the name of the next village manager in their hands.
The four-month process that started with the village hiring Slavin Management Constants, a Georgia-based search firm, to assist in the process is moving forward. The deadline for application was Aug. 17, and recently a list of 13 names was provided to the village board's personnel subcommittee for further review, according to Trustee Ray Johnson, who serves on the selection committee. A total of 41 people from across the country applied.
The original timeline announced in May was to have a candidate hired by some time in September, but the board still has multiple steps remaining before that can happen. Johnson said in an email that a "rough timeline" would include interviews with the finalists during October.
"It is expected that the list will be further refined and evaluated for a top tier of finalists, which the full board would interview," Johnson wrote.
He noted that the group was "highly qualified" and that "applicants display a wide array of experience, represent diversity, and come from various regions across the country."
Slavin is receiving up to $21,490 for its work in the search. This number breaks down to $13,865 in professional fees, while the remaining $7,625 is available for possible expenses incurred during the process.
Cara Pavlicek has been serving as interim village manager since Tom Barwin announced his resignation in February after five and a half years on the job. Barwin started earlier this month as the new city manager in Sarasota, Fla.
Board members expressed in early discussions about the village manager process that it's important to be transparent to the public. Some trustees said they were in favor of hosting community forums; others suggested appointing stakeholder groups to individually interview candidates in confidentiality. Those decisions have yet to be made by the board.