Bloomington City Manager Bows Out Of Racine, WI Job

Mar 13, 2017

Bloomington City Manager David Hales is a finalist for the top administrative job in Racine, Wisconsin.
Credit Staff / WGLT

The Journal Times newspaper in Racine, Wisconsin reports Bloomington City Manager David Hales is one of three finalists for City Administrator in that Milwaukee suburb.

However, in a statement to WGLT, Hales states he took himself out of the running for the Racine post.

"It is my pleasure to serve as Bloomington’s City Manager. The recruiter working for the City of Racine, Wisconsin, reached out to me and invited me to apply for the City Administrator’s position. I was honored to be selected by Racine to interview for the City Administrator position. Ultimately, I decided that the fit was not right for me at Racine. When certain opportunities present themselves, it is worth investigating, especially since I have an employment contract that expires in 16 months. Nonetheless, I am committed to the City of Bloomington and the duties of the City Manager. Bloomington remains the right fit for me," said Hales.

When GLT asked Hales whether he had other applications out, Hales indicated he had people waiting for him and declined to answer.

Hales has served as Bloomington City Manager for more than eight years, since being named in late 2008.

Before that he was in Bend, Oregon, where he was asked to resign. When he came to Bloomington, Hales characterized that separation as political, and not unusual for city administrators faced with changes in elected officials. That is also true of another of the finalists in Racine, who said that happened in his last three jobs.

When he came to Bloomington, Hales and elected officials cited his financial experience as a needed skill to stabilize a budget under stress. Since then, the city has gone through significant layoffs, rebuilt fund reserves, increased funding for streets and retirement funds, and gone through an extensive planning process.

Hales current contract extension in Bloomington runs to July of 2018. Mayor Tari Renner stated during Sound Ideas in May of 2016 that if reelected as Mayor he would help choose the city's next manager. 

Data from various government sources indicate Racine is a community that is comparable to Bloomington. Racine's population is nearly identical to Bloomington's, just over 78,000 people in 2014. Its estimated median household income in 2015 was more than $42,000 with per capita income of about $21,000. The average price of a home in Racine in 2015 was more than $126,000. It is 50.3% White, 23.4% Hispanic, and 22% Black.

The two remaining candidates for the Racine City Administrator position are from North Carolina and Texas. The current Racine Administrator announced plans last fall to retire about now.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include comments from City Manager Hales about removing himself from the search in Racine. 

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