BLOOMINGTON — The city of Joliet is negotiating the departure of City Manager David Hales, who left the same job in Bloomington less than a year ago.
"A separation agreement with City Manager David Hales is being negotiated," said Joliet Inspector General Chris Regis in a memo issued Thursday and addressed to Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and the City Council.
The agreement is on the agenda for Tuesday's Joliet City Council meeting.
"This agreement will be discussed in closed session during a pre-council meeting," Regis said in the memo. "Assuming the agreement is finalized, it will be voted on at the council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 16."
Hales and O’Dekirk could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Joliet city staff recommended the mayor and council approve the agreement, according to the memo.
Joliet hired Hales in November on a three-year contract paying $215,000 annually. Hales had been Bloomington's city manager since 2008, and former Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason succeeded him in June.
"I don't have any particular, firsthand knowledge of the issues Mr. Hales might have been having in Joliet," said Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner.
"I have been contacted by the Joliet media over the last four to five months for comments," he added. "Because this was a city manager personnel issue, I didn't (comment), so this does not come as a particular surprise. The media is not going to contact me from Joliet if things are going well."
Bloomington Ward 2 Alderman David Sage, who supported Hales during his time in Bloomington, said he also did not know why Joliet was seeking the separation agreement but added it's a difficult job.
"In a municipality, where you have a large group of elected officials, you have multiple people who believe they are your boss," said Sage. "For somebody to have what seems to be six, seven, eight or 10 bosses, that's seemingly an almost impossible job."
Following his shortest contract extension with Bloomington, approved in May 2016, Hales became a finalist for similar jobs in two other communities before Joliet hired him.
In April 2017, the Bloomington council approved a 1.9 percent salary increase for Hales, taking his annual pay from $185,190 to $188,660.