By Howard Packowitz
BLOOMINGTON – A Bloomington alderman said city government is in need of a culture change, and blasted two previous city managers for not providing that change.
Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy said David Hales and Tom Hamilton before him failed to inspire innovation among city staffers and did not adequately utilize their skills and talents.
“To me, that is not good leadership. That’s stifling. That’s damaging,” said Mathy, whose ward covers parts of Downtown Bloomington and the city’s south side.
Hales left Bloomington last November to become Joliet’s city manager. Hamilton retired from city service.
“Each of them had their individual management styles that did not appreciate, did not celebrate, and did not promote independent thinking within the staff that we spent a lot of time looking for and a lot of money paying for,” Mathy said.
Mathy believes incoming City Manager Tim Gleason will turn things around.
“One of the things we asked him about his time in Decatur, he said he showed up there, and he said,’The way that Decatur has always done it is no longer acceptable. We are going to change it. We are going to make things happen.”‘
Mathy praised the work of Interim City Manager Steve Rasmussen, who was a finalist for the job. Mathy hopes Rasmussen and Gleason form a great partnership for the city.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org