Pavlicek no longer just ‘interim’ Oak Park village manager
Cara Pavlicek was named village manager for Oak Park on Monday night. She has served as interim manager for about 11 months. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 9, 2013 10:37PM
With her husband, daughter and step son in the audience Wednesday night, Cara Pavlicek sat by smiling as the Oak Park village board took 26 decidedly warm and fuzzy minutes to praise her, and just 35 seconds to unanimously approve her employment contract as the new village manager.
Village President David Pope called the special board meeting to vote on Pavlicek’s contract “a special and celebratory occasion.”
Pavlicek, who came to an agreement with the board on contract terms earlier Wednesday, will see a $25,000 boost in salary from her $125,000 interim village manager salary.
The new contract pays her a base salary of $150,000, and she will be eligible for annual performance bonuses of up to 10 percent, at the discretion of the village board.
The contract requires Pavlicek to relocate to Oak Park within 18 months. The village will cover up to $10,000 of expenses related to her selling her Downer’s Grove home, and up to $5,000 in moving expenses.
Pavlicek will face numerous challenges in 2013, including still tight economic conditions and ongoing contract negotiations with a significant portion of the village hall labor pool that voted no confidence in her management in December.
Wednesday, though, was nearly all feel-good moments, to the point where Pavlicek admitted she was “a bit nervous because everyone was being so nice.”
Trustee Adams Salzman, who was absent due to the flu, forwarded a statement, read by Bob Tucker, that expressed the board’s sentiment and assessment in a nutshell.
“Simply put, she was the best candidate,” Salzman said.
“The best one rose to the top,” agreed Glenn Brewer.
Tucker himself praised Pavlicek as a thoughtful administrator who brought a strong skill set to the job, saying, “Her strength and experience will help run a very complex organization like (Oak Park).”
Ray Johnson raised the issue of some negative commentary in the blogosphere, suggesting the board went through the motions in the selection process and that Pavlicek’s insider status assured her selection, calling those contentions “ridiculous and absurd.”
“It offends me to have people suggest we didn’t take this seriously,” Johnson said.
“It’s really nice to not be the only woman here,” Colette Lueck quipped, as Village Clerk Teresa Powell and Interim Village Attorney Simone Boutet sat at either end of the dais.
After taking the oath of office from Powell, Pavlicek received a standing ovation and shook hands with each board member.
Oak Leaves will have more coverage of this story in its Jan. 17 issue.