CALUMET CITY | On Monday, the city began advertising for a new economic development director on websites that cater to qualified professionals across the country.
The City Council met Sept. 11 as a Committee of the Whole and put together a list of expectations for the position. Those expectations were then given to Heidi Voorhees, a consultant hired earlier this month by Calumet City to help with the job search.
Voorhees has said she will post advertisements for the position on websites that appeal to professionals who work in government and public policy.
Those include websites of the International Economic Development Council and Strategic Government Resources, along with other websites that are meant to appeal to African-American and Latino professionals.
First Ward Alderman Eric Schneider said city officials are expecting to see the job advertisements posted beginning Monday and remaining in place for four weeks through Oct. 13 to help build a pool of candidates.
The job opening also will eventually be posted on the city’s website at calumetcity.org.
Voorhees, who says she is being paid $12,500 for seven weeks of work, will go through all the applicants and make hiring recommendations to Calumet City officials.
City officials, however, will make the final decision, although Schneider said aldermen have not decided whether they will interview the finalists recommended by Voorhees for themselves, or how quickly they will offer the position to someone.
“We do want to do this quickly,” Schneider said. “Economic development is a priority for Calumet City.”
Voorhees said that while her advertisements for the post will reach a national audience, she admits it is likely that many of the people who wind up applying will be ones already living or working in the Chicago area.
Among issues that have yet to be decided for the new position is whether it will be a full-fledged city job with health and retirement benefits, or a contractual offer where the new director would have to arrange for their own benefits.
Also yet to be decided is whether municipal government will actually require the new economic development director to live in, or near, Calumet City.
“We’re trying to keep things flexible, so we can get a greater pool of candidates,” Schneider said.
The economic development director position became open last month when James Gigliotti became a full-time housing director for city government. Previously, he had been doing those duties, along with serving as director of the city’s Community and Economic Development Department.