“Fostering diversity means hiring more women and minorities across the board, including Latinos, Asians and African-Americans.” Councilwoman Tish Powell stated with recent reports showcasing the lack of diversity within Elgin’s government hiring practices.
According to the 2013 Census, the city of Elgin has a population of 110,145 with almost half (about 44%) being of Latino descent. Despite this large percentage, 76% of the city’s government employees are white.
The problem is plan and simple, government officials are using favoritism and a closed networking system to hire employees. It was recently reported that Rick Kozal was promoted to city manager in early August, without a proper search. This is important as the city manager makes all hiring decisions. The fact that the government official who makes all hiring decisions can be hired without input is the crux of the issue. With an estimated 55% of the Elgin population being latino, black, and asian, there are more then enough people to connect with to hire diverse government employees.
Unfortunately Elgin, IL is not unique in its government hiring practices. More must be done in order to create a government focused on hiring government officials that truly reflect it’s residents.