Web Extra! Updated 07/31/08

Tom Barwin, Oak Park’s village manager for two years, has been named a finalist for manager of scenic Boulder, Colo.

Boulder named Barwin last Friday as one of seven finalists, all of whom are out-of-state, for its vacant city manager’s job. Barwin was picked from a list of about 45 candidates, a spokesperson for Boulder said.

A recruiter contacted Barwin a month ago about this opening. A call to the headhunter, Tom Dority with Colorado-based Mercer Group, was not returned.

Barwin said he decided to submit his résumé after some consideration. He has not been actively seeking a job and says he is happy in Oak Park.

But why not just say no?

“I think I was susceptible to the flirtation,” he said yesterday. “I’m a community builder and have been for 25 years. And so, it’s flattering in that way to know one of the very fine communities would be interested in talking to me.”

Boulder is about 30 miles west of Denver. It has a population of about 100,000, including 29,000 at the University of Boulder. Barwin touts Boulder as one of the great communities in the U.S. Applying for this job was a win-win, he said, as it gave him the chance to visit an innovative community while being considered for a top-notch position.

He’s headed there next week. He won’t say, if he gets the offer, whether he’ll take the job.

“Oak Park and Chicagoland are terrific, and we love it here,” said Barwin, 53, who is in Oak Park with his wife, Peggy. “This is just one of those rare, rare situations that I think happens once or twice in a career where an individual is recruited to be considered for a great job.”

Boulder plans to have Barwin and the other finalists make presentations to the city council from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 8. The next day from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the city council will hold formal interviews and then meet to select the manager, according to Mary Huron Hunter, communications manager for Boulder.

The meetings will be broadcast live on Boulder’s Web site at www.boulderchannel8.com.

Oak Park hired Barwin as village manager in June 2006, while he was village manager of Ferndale, Mich. He started work here that August.

Wednesday Journal named Barwin as Co-Villager of the Year for 2007, along with Village President David Pope. In an interview for that story, Barwin said he planned to stay in Oak Park for 5 to 10 years, which he reaffirmed yesterday.

Check the Aug. 6 print edition of the Wednesday Journal for more on this story.

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

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