Acting Park Ridge city manager’s departure imminent
Updated: August 6, 2012 11:34AM
PARK RIDGE — The city of Park Ridge may soon, once again, be without a top administrator overseeing its day-to-day business.
Two months after the City Council voted to fire City Manager Jim Hock and name Deputy City Manager Juliana Maller as temporary acting manager, the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate has learned that Maller is being considered for a leadership role in another community.
On July 5, the Hanover Park Village Board is expected to vote on a motion to appoint Maller village manager of the northwest suburb, effective Aug. 13.
Maller, who has been with the city of Park Ridge since 1996, was named acting city manager May 4 following the council’s dismissal of Hock.
Maller was not immediately available for comment regarding the Hanover Park job offer.
Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt said the City Council was slated to begin discussions July 9 regarding the search process for a new city manager. That discussion will now involve Maller’s probable departure.
Schmidt said there are two options for addressing a vacancy in city management.
“One would be to elevate someone from within (the city) temporarily,” Schmidt said. “The other option would be to hire an interim person, possibly a retired city manager, someone who has held the position in one of the local suburbs who would be willing to take it on for a finite amount of time while we proceed with our search for a permanent replacement.”
Maller had applied for the position of Park Ridge city manager in 2008 but withdrew her name due to the city’s requirement that the city manager live in Park Ridge. Schmidt said the residency issue may be part of the council’s discussion next week.
“There’s something to be said about having your city manager have a personal investment in the community,” Schmidt said. “On the other hand, it does narrow your field of candidates.”
The council discussed residency in 2008 prior to the hiring of Hock, but no changes in the requirement were made.
Schmidt said he knew two or three years ago that Maller had been looking for a position outside the city of Park Ridge.
“I knew she had been looking over the years. I was not aware she had been looking recently,” he said. “I suspect she has always kept her eyes and ears open for the opportunity to get a top spot.”
In 2010, the City Council attempted to eliminate Maller’s position as assistant city manager, but Hock kept her on staff, renaming the position “deputy city manager.” This action was a point of contention for some elected officials.
A motion to increase Maller’s salary for her added responsibilities as acting city manager also failed to gain approval from aldermen in May.