Pavlicek staying in Oak Park

Will not become city administrator of Ann Arbor, Michigan


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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek does not intend to leave Oak Park or actively search for new employment after not landing the city administrator position in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

"I'm not looking every single day at trade journals or any of those things," Pavlicek told Wednesday Journal. "I'm glad to be here."

The opportunity to apply for Ann Arbor city administration, Pavlicek said, just happened to "kind of fall [her] way."

Pavlicek performed well during the interview process, becoming one of two finalists for the job after a nationwide search to replace the previous city administrator who was terminated in February. 

However, Pavlicek lost out on the gig to the city's internal candidate. Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously Sept. 14 to offer the position to Tom Crawford, the city's interim city administrator and chief financial officer.

During the meeting, Council member Ali Ramlaw thanked Pavlicek for her time and her efforts, calling her a "dynamite candidate, one that made this decision that much harder and one that really deserves recognition and appreciation."

Oak Park village staff were all made aware beforehand that Pavlicek had been selected as a candidate for the city administrator role in Ann Arbor. 

 "I think I was really clear with employees when I talked to them about it," said Pavlicek. "It's an unusual profession in that it's so public when you do accept an interview in another community."

Pavlicek called the recruitment process of filling top level administrative roles in local government "very, very lengthy" and that there is a "very, very small chance of being the right match."

"You go into these processes knowing that there's going to be some public scrutiny because of the way they just unfold and there's a very small likelihood that you may actually end up being offered a job," Pavlicek said.

Her decision to go after the role did not affect her relationships with Oak Park village board members; in fact, Pavlicek said they were "very gracious" and "very professional" about the situation.

"They were saying like, 'We understand you're doing this, but we also understand that you're continuing to work with your focus on Oak Park," Pavlicek said.

Pavlicek decided to go after the city administrative position because she felt like it would be a good match for her personally and professionally.

"There aren't communities like Oak Park very often that would be an opportunity to expand and work at a higher level," Pavlicek said. "And by higher level, for a village manager, that typically means a larger community."

While working in a smaller community can be "incredibly professionally challenging and rewarding," Pavlicek was intrigued by the idea of working for a larger community and delivering services to a greater number of people.  

Despite not getting the position, Pavlicek has positive feelings toward Ann Arbor.

"I know that Ann Arbor has a wonderful new manager," said Pavlicek. "I'm happy for them. I have plenty of work to do here."

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Reader Comments

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Christine Pastor  

Posted: September 29th, 2020 9:42 AM

On that note, the construction zones (a.k.a. "slow streets") are more of a danger to all than if nothing was posted at all. I live on Thomas and Fair Oaks and drive every weekday morning on Augusta to Harlem, I see more joggers still using Augusta and not Thomas (slow streets). Why is that? Could it be that the runners also know those blinking construction signs block the driver's view and do not feel safe. Winter is coming. Hopefully, the signs will get plowed away.

Christine Pastor  

Posted: September 29th, 2020 9:15 AM

@Bill Maxwell. Thanks for the information. Cara-Pavlicek is definitely not happy here. It is a shame Oak Park did not do the same homework as Ann Arbor.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: September 26th, 2020 6:53 PM

Missed a proof read. Correct "Oak Park is fortunate to not have her", to Oak Park is very fortunate that Ann Arbor did not take her away from Oak Park and Oak Park still has her

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: September 26th, 2020 6:35 PM

Bruce Kline I thought I recalled an article from the Wednesday Journal and here is an excerpt "Most recently, she served as manager of Downers Grove for nearly three years before getting fired. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the community, alleging breach of contract, and was awarded $73,000, according to a February 2012 Wednesday Journal article." Ann Arbor may have done their home work, Oak Park is fortunate to not have her and Downers Grove got off cheap getting rid of her Because of these moves of trying to get out of Oak Park, I really think Vicki Scaman is worth learning more about since she appears to be the only one wanting to stay in Oak Park which shows loyalty to Oak Park to make it better. Lets hope the media outlets let us learn more about each candidate

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2020 4:09 PM

I am glad to hear that Ann Arbor chose someone with financial experience to be their manager. Its refreshing to hear that these days, especially in a college town.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: September 26th, 2020 1:42 PM

Yeah Tom. Picture Cara's introductory video to her future new employers: CARA Pavlicek in "Escape From Oak Park". See Cara rescue the President of Oak Park from the SJWs. See Cara stare down the bad Republicans of Oak Park (if there are any left). See Cara fire the evil Clerk of Oak Park. Yes! See Cara do it all. Critics rave. "Cara makes Kurt Russel look like a wuss."

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2020 12:22 PM

Please let us know about the next job interview, in her quest to escape Oak Park

Ann Courter from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 7:32 PM

Glad that Cara Pavlicek will continue to work for our village! We are lucky to have her stay.

Susan M. Bending-Wienke Roberts  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 5:50 PM

Happy to have Cara continue to be our Village Manager.

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