EVANSTON, IL — The two finalists identified by the Evanston City Council for the job of city manager were revealed Wednesday ahead of planned community meetings and a final decision by councilmembers.
Both candidates — Michael Jasso and Daniel Ramos — come from management roles in cities with more than half a million people.
Jasso is one of four assistant city managers in Sacramento, California, a former managing deputy commissioner for Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development and former chief of the Cook County Economic Development Bureau.
Since taking the job in California's capitol nearly four years ago, Jasso oversaw the creation of neighborhood development teams to improve commercial corridors and developed the city's first "inclusive Economic and Community Development Investment Committee of external Sacramento stakeholders to provide guidance and review of all economic development projects, programs and policies," according to a biography provided by Evanston city staff.
Ramos started his career in Baltimore's city government as a mayoral fellow after graduating from college more than eight years ago. He rose in the ranks to become deputy chief of staff in the mayor's office, a job he retained after a new mayor took office in 2020 and named Ramos to the newly created position of deputy chief administrative officer.
A top advisor on budget, operational and policy issues related to transportation, performance management and internal operations, Ramos was in charge of reducing a $100 million capital backlog and improving city facilities, according to his city-provided biography. Ramos also led Baltimore's COVID-19 relief efforts, establishing programs for cash assistance for residents and rebates for small businesses.
The search for the city's next chief executive was triggered by last year's negotiated resignation of former City Manager Erika Storlie amid an investigation into staff's handling of allegations of sexual misconduct among lakefront employees in the parks and recreation department. Storlie arranged a separation agreement and formally resigned Oct. 8 before starting a new position as city manager of East Dundee last month.
Both candidates are due to appear during an online event from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Questions must be submitted in advance, either through an online form or by calling or texting 847-448-4311.
Following that remote meeting, three panel discussions with the candidates are scheduled to take place on Jan. 13 — one with community members, one with city staff and another with representatives of local businesses and nonprofit groups.