Council confirms Fournier as new City Manager in 9-1 vote

Council confirms Fournier as new City Manager in 9-1 vote

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Evanston City Council members approved the appointment of Ann Arbor Assistant City Administrator John Fournier as the next City Manager at the Monday, May 23, City Council meeting, bringing to a close a bruising process to find a new city leader.

The vote was 9-1, meeting the seven-vote minimum needed under Council rules to appoint a City Manager. Council members stood and audience members applauded following the vote.

“You know, I want to express my very, very sincere appreciation and gratitude for this appointment and I come to you humbly with a lot of hope and a lot of ambition to work with each of you to make sure that this City Council is successful,” Fournier said when Mayor Daniel Biss invited him to say a few words after the vote.

“This is a democracy. This is a big ‘D‘ democracy,” he said. “It’s important for us to be engaged in voices of community and the work that happens in this city hall.”

Credentials were key

“I was really looking for someone with the experience that demonstrated the ability to manage a city like Evanston with a $360 million budget and 800 employees,” said Council member Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward. “It’s really a complex organization and I was really looking for someone who had demonstrated hands-on experience in that regard. Certainly, being Assistant City Manager in Ann Arbor obviously provided that kind of hands-on experience with a large staff and so I think that’s going to be standing us in good stead.”

Council member Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, also cited experience as a factor in Fournier’s favor. “Throughout the process it was clear to me that John not only read through our budget but also has a deep understanding of how municipal budgets are supposed to be run. (mehr …)