News - Joliet and Will County

Hales gets three-year contract as Joliet’s new city manager

David Hales

JOLIET – New City Manager David Hales starts Nov. 12 on a three-year contract with Joliet.

The Joliet City Council this week hired Hales and authorized execution of the contract, which was released by the city on Wednesday.

Hales, 63, comes from Bloomington, where he had a salary of $189,000, according to The Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington.

He gets a raise in Joliet, where Hales was hired at a salary of $215,000, more than what former City Manager Jim Hock made when he retired in May with a salary of $188,000. although Hock received extra compensation in 2016 raising his gross pay to $196,000. Joliet advertised the city manager job as paying up to $220,000.

Bloomington Alderman Karen Schmidt, who is serving as mayor pro tem in the city, called Hales "a very strong city manager for us. He came in at a time of very severe financial stress for us."

Schmidt described Hales as someone with "a lot of financial acumen" and "very ethical."

"David is really very well regarded," Schmidt said. "He is at a point in in his career where he's ready for some new challenges. ... I know he leaves with some mixed feelings. He built an incredible staff. I hate to see him go."

At the Joliet City Council meeting on Tuesday, Interim City Manager Marty Shanahan told the council on Tuesday. The council approved Hale's contract after meeting in closed session for about 10 minutes.

Hales in comments to reporters later called Joliet "a fantastic city" and described it as unique in Illinois.

"It's showing a phenomenal amount of economic development, success and progress," he said.

Like Hock's contract, Hales' contract provides for annual reviews for potential salary increases.

The language describing the annual review is more more detailed than in Hock's contract, providing for methods of determining goals and evaluations. The process for salary adjustments was summed up in one paragraph in Hock's contract. The Hales' contract devotes five paragraphs to the process including one on confidentiality.

Like Hock, Hales gets a $250 a month car allowance.

New to the Hales contract is a section on business expenses specifying that the city will pay for meals where city business is discussed and compensate the city manager when he represents Joliet at social functions.

Hales gets the same $12,500 relocation allowance that Hock received. The city will pay for an apartment until April 1.

Hales is in the city pension plan. He starts with three weeks of vacation accruing 13.33 hours of vacation a month. He starts at 18 days of sick leave, accruing sick leave at the rate of 12 hours per month after his first year.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News