Julia Carroll's Employment Contract

The following are some of the elements of former City Manager Julia Carroll's compensation package, per her "Employment Agreement," dated Dec. 2004:

1. Base salary of $170,000 per year;

2. Moving expenses to relocate to Evanston;

3. Cost of temporary housing (for up to nine months);

4. Interest-free loan of $200,000 to purchase a residence in Evanston;

5. Car allowance up to $500 per month;

6. Laptop, software and modem (based on Carroll's specifications); in-home fax machine and payment of in-home phone line; payment of high-speed ISP; new cellular telephone (and "accessories"); new pager; and new PDA;

7. Five weeks vacation and four floating holidays, which may be "cashed out" at the option of Carroll.

Is this just compensation for Carroll's contribution to the City during the 3-1/2 years preceding her abrupt departure from the Civic Center last week?

Per the "Daily Northwestern" (5/16/08), this "contribution" included the resignation or retirement of eight of the nine City department heads. The Daily quotes Jay Terry, the City's former Director of Health and Human Services: "The city manager's management style was certainly a contributory factor in my retirement."

The open question at this point is whether Carroll will participate in the City's Early Retirement Incentive.

According to a fax sent by Judy Witt, the City's former Director of Human Resources, Carroll became eligible for ERI on April 1, 2008. On April 27, 2008, Carroll signed a "Notice of Intent to Retire Under Employer's IMRF Early Retirement Incentive." On April 28, 2008, Carroll resigned as City Manager for "health reasons."


Thank you for posting this interesting information. Probably most Evanstonians do not know how we pay our top staffer.

I'm interested, Barb, whether you (or others) feel the position is overcompensated generally, or simply that, looking backward, you feel that the City didn't get value.

I'm not uncomfortable with the top executive in an organization with 800 employees making six figures, even in the public sector. I think most of the side benefits are reasonable; I'd want my city manager to have high-speed Internet at home, and probably Blackberry access. I realize that with all the perks the stuff you've listed comes closer to 200K, and so that needs to be taken into consideration.

Public service, in my opinion, should pay less than the private sector, because it's an honor to serve the public, and it offers meaning and reward that industry usually cannot in terms of putting your stamp on society. I note in that regard that the base salary of $170,000 for Evanston City Manager (in 2004) is more than the 2007 salary of the governor of Illinois or a Congressman. It's probably considerably less than the managing partner of a 400-lawyer, 400-employee firm, the chief administrator of an 800-employee hospital.

Regardless of what one thinks of Ms. Carroll's tenure, there are no "take-backs." How the situation ended up doesn't make the compensation package paid any more wise or unwise. Let's assume no one in 2004 saw this conclusion. Seems to me the question, looking forward, is whether the market has gotten too rich, whether we could at least end up with the same level of dissatisfaction for less, whether one wants to somehow make the compensation performance-based, or whether we should consider some different model of self-government and management. Additionally, the entire question of public-sector pensions, retirement ages, and longevity needs to be looked at, for context.


I am making no statement as to the general suitability of the compensation package for Evanston's chief executive. I researched this information simply to find out how much Evanston paid Carroll for decimating the senior leadership of the City--either directly or indirectly.

Barb R.