Next up for interim city manager in Joliet?

Hock meets with City Council in closed session to discuss job

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Former City Manager Jim Hock arrived Monday for an interview with the Joliet City Council, which is trying to sort out who will be the future interim city manager.

Hock waited about 40 minutes as the council, still divided over the future of the city manager position, met in closed session before calling him in.

Dressed semi-casually in a dress shirt but no tie, Hock greeted several staff members with whom he formerly worked as he waited.

He retired as Joliet city manager in May 2017.

Speaking briefly to The Herald-News before the interview, Hock said he was ready to step in.

“I’ll have much more to comment on after I’m hired if they hire me,” Hock said.

He should find out Tuesday.

“We’re going to vote tomorrow. It’s on the agenda,” council member Pat Mudron said after the closed-session interview with Hock, which lasted about an hour.

Council division over the city manager job devolved into controversy over the interim city manager two weeks ago when Martin Shanahan was removed from the position.

That division was evident at the Monday council workshop meeting that preceded the closed session when council member Larry Hug asked why the Hock meeting was not being held publicly.

“As you know, discussions regarding employment are typically closed session,” answered interim City Manager Steve Jones, who was put in the position when Shanahan was removed.

“That tradition was smashed two weeks ago in the case of Mr. Shanahan,” Hug said. “I don’t see why we don’t keep the ball rolling,”

Hug is part of a council minority that wanted to promote Shanahan to the city manager position. Others included Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and council members Jan Quillman and Terry Morris.

Mudron, along with council members Michael Turk, Bettye Gavin, Sherri Reardon and Don Dickinson, voted to remove Shanahan as interim city manager, some saying it was necessary to do a candidate search for the job.

Since retiring, Hock has applied for interim city manager jobs elsewhere.

He was a finalist for an interim city manager position in Marco Island, Florida, which was covered in media reports because of controversy over the job. Hock said he also sought an interim city manager position in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

His potential return to Joliet started with a phone call from Mudron, who said he called Hock after being told by other council members that he was not available.