Pub­lic meet­ing set to dis­cuss hir­ing Cole­man as city man­ager

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­[email protected]­

City coun­cil could vote as early as next week on whether to ex­tend an of­fer to Tom Cole­man to be Ne­wark’s next city man­ager.

Cole­man has been serv­ing in the role on an in­terim ba­sis since May 2017.

At 7 p.m. on Mon­day, the city will host a pub­lic meet­ing at city hall so res­i­dents can hear Cole­man an­swer scripted ques­tions from a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the con­sult­ing firm GovHR. At­ten­dees will be able to ob­serve but will not be per­mit­ted to ask or sub­mit ques­tions.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Cole­man will par­tic­i­pate in an in­for­mal meet-and-greet with res­i­dents. Ear­lier in the day, Cole­man will have a “struc­tured in­ter­view” with the de­part­ment heads he has su­per­vised for the past 18 months.

Ne­wark­ers will have ap­prox­i­mately 16 hours to sub­mit feed­back for coun­cil con­sid­er­a­tion. Com­ments must be sub­mit­ted by noon Tues­day.

At 5 p.m. Tues­day, coun­cil will meet be­hind closed doors to dis­cuss the next steps and could re­turn to a pub­lic ses­sion to vote.

Ini­tially, Cole­man was not in­ter­ested in tak­ing on the role long-term. How­ever, he said, he had a change of heart and re­newed con­ver­sa­tions with coun­cil af­ter two fi­nal­ists for the job were re­jected in July.

“It’s been en­joy­able do­ing it,” Cole­man said ear­lier this month. “I’ve liked it, and we’ve got­ten a lot done. You gain con­fi­dence the more you do it.”

Coun­cil voted Nov. 12 to re­open the city man­ager search for Cole­man only but de­cided he should go through the same hir­ing process the un­suc­cess­ful fi­nal­ists went through.

The $22,000 con­tract the city signed with GovHR last year is still in ef­fect, but the city will have to pay ad­di­tional travel ex­penses for the Illi­nois-based con­sul­tant to come help in­ter­view Cole­man, who has worked for the city since 2011. Those ex­penses have not yet been cal­cu­lated, a city spokes­woman said.

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