BLOOMINGTON — As expected, the City Council has named Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen as interim city manager, but he said he'd like to keep the position permanently.
At a special meeting Thursday afternoon, the council appointed Rasmussen on a unanimous vote, effective Nov. 8. He will be paid $170,201, which will be annualized over the period he serves in the interim city manager role. Rasmussen’s current annual salary is $141,834.
"I would like to thank everyone for their vote of confidence, and I promise you I will do the very best job I can," said Rasmussen.
During public comments, downtown business owner Tim Tilton called Rasmussen "a bridge builder for our future" and urged the council to keep him in the position permanently.
"We'll have to wait to see what happens as we go along, but at this time I certainly would like to consider myself a candidate for the permanent position," said Rasmussen after the brief meeting.
The city's code permits an interim city manager to serve for only four months, so the council unanimously approved amending the ordinance to allow Rasmussen to serve as long as it takes the city to find a permanent replacement for outgoing City Manager David Hales, who is leaving to become Joliet's city manager. His last day is Nov. 7.
The city will host a public farewell reception for Hales from 4 to 6 p.m. that day at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.
The city anticipates it could take at least six months to fill the job and is currently advertising for an executive search firm to help find candidates.
Last month, the Joliet City Council authorized a three-year contract with Hales at an annual salary of $215,000. Hales makes $188,660 in his Bloomington job.
As interim city manager, Rasmussen will oversee all city departments and will not utilize an assistant city manager during the interim period.
While he will possess the powers and duties of the city manager, he will not be able to appoint or remove a city officer or employee without approval of a majority of the council.
Rasmussen also will serve as interim community development director until a replacement for Tom Dabareiner is hired. Dabareiner's last day heading the community development department was Oct. 20. He resigned to take a similar job in the western suburbs of Chicago to be closer to his children.
Rasmussen was hired in November 2014 as assistant city manager. He previously was chief city administrator for Jefferson City, Mo., with a population of 43,330, from 2006-2011.