Former Oak Park village manager a finalist for two jobs

Tom Barwin a top candidate in Wisconsin and Florida

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Tom Barwin, Oak Park's former village manager, is up for the top administrator job in Waukesha, Wis., and Sarasota, Fla.

Barwin said in an interview Monday that he met with Waukesha officials about the job last week. He is one of four finalists for the position in Waukesha and one of five finalists in Sarasota.

He announced at a February Oak Park village board meeting that he was resigning from his post after five and a half years on the job.

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee and has a population of around 70,000. According to an online job posting, the job would pay between $110,000 and $140,000. Sarasota has more than 50,000 residents and would bring Barwin back to working on the waterfront — a scene he is familiar to.

Barwin said since Waukesha is just slightly larger than Oak Park it has a lot of business districts that operate in a similar manner. That's one factor that attracted him to the job, he said.

"It is a rock-solid town," Barwin said. "It's really moving in the right direction."

He said Waukesha faces a similar set of challenges to Oak Park including strategic planning, economic development and downtown revitalization.

Sarasota is a city also similar in size.

"In Oak Park we've been pretty good keeping our districts full and vibrant," he said. "[Waukesha has] a pretty substantial downtown."

Barwin, who was picked by the Florida-based search firm Colin Baenziger & Associates, said he was interviewed by a committee made up of members of the village government and staff last week.

Barwin said he expects a decision will be made within the next few weeks in Waukesha, and likely by July 2 in Sarasota.

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 3:04 PM

The book is closed on Tom Barwin but there still needs to be full disclosure from the board regarding their decision to dismiss their manager but still provide him with a substantial cash payoff. How did it happen that Barwin received positive performance reviews and bonuses months earlier but then suddenly lost the board's full confidence. It is important to maintain the confidentiality of personnel records but no explanation is not acceptable. Either Oak Park is going to be governed with complete transparency and accountability or the trustees will pick and choose on a selective basis. That's not what was promised to voters by Bob Tucker, Adam Salzman and Ray Johnson. Time for one or all to stand up and honor that pledge.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2012 4:57 PM

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois, of course he has choices. He was the manager of the Village of Oak Park, and everyone knows that best you can be, so it goes without research that he's the one for the job. If they actually found out how much the village spent on ridiculous projects, maybe they would think about it. Of course we still have those 17,000 dollars worth of creative cross walks in the so called Art District.


Posted: June 6th, 2012 12:06 PM

I think its time for you to follow Les.

Les Golden from OP  

Posted: June 6th, 2012 9:55 AM

I wish the best of luck to Mr. Barwin. From my understanding he did a good job in Oak Park but was the victim of circumstances.

John Sullivan  

Posted: June 6th, 2012 7:05 AM

It may be fitting if he ends up in Sarasota FL. It too has many retired folks as does Oak Park.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 5th, 2012 11:23 PM

Tom, pick a winner. It is clear that you have choices.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: June 5th, 2012 10:37 PM

Best of luck!

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