The village board started work on Monday to renew Village Manager Tom Barwin’s employment agreement for another year. If all goes well, village hall could ink its leader for another year sometime in January.

Trustees met in a closed meeting on Monday to start planning a performance review. Renewing the manager’s employment agreement is something the village does every year. Trustee Ray Johnson says the village goes yearly, instead of multi-year agreements, because it helps to align with their budget process and goal setting.

Barwin will complete a self assessment as part of the process and will be evaluated by the board. He was also assessed at mid-year, which Johnson said went “very well.”

Barwin came under fire earlier this year after it was discovered that a consulting contract was allowed to balloon to $205,000 more than budgeted. But a third-party investigation found no evidence of fraud in the overpayment, and village hall subsequently tightened its spending procedures.

“I personally think that he has done a really good job this year in a very tough economic environment,” said Johnson, who is also on the three-member subcommittee of the village board, which focuses on personnel issues.

Entering his fourth year as manager of the village, Barwin says he’s happy to stay on board with Oak Park, if it’s the will of the board. He believes he has exceeded the expectations of trustees each year.

“We’ve had some tough challenges to work through, but if the economy would only cooperate, I think we’re in a position to rebound here,” he said.

-Marty Stempniak

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