‘Carol was a great administrator’, says Urbana councilor about candidate for manager Mitten

The City of Urbana was without a city administrator for 11 years before Mayor Diane Marlin appointed Carol Mitten to the post in April 2018.

Mitten stated at the time that she wasn’t walking through the door to make changes, but saw herself as a coach. She hoped to bring together government leaders to work towards common goals.

Shirley Hursey

Shirese Hursey, who as a member of Urbana’s seven-person City Council, worked alongside Mitten for three years. She said in a telephone interview: “I think Carol was a great city manager. …I’m sorry she’s leaving Urbana. I wish she wasn’t.”

Hursey, whose father was the first member of Urbana’s Black Council and served on the elected council representing Urbana’s Third Ward, said Mitten was instrumental in helping her research a 2021 Urban resolution committing to ending structural racism. and racial equity. “I actually used Evanston as a model,” Hursey said.

The resolution speaks to racial segregation and oppression that became especially acute after World War II, following the rise in Champaign-Urbana’s black population and the spread of predatory real estate practices that excluded black residents from white neighborhoods.

Of Mitten, she said: “I think she’s a straight shooter. She is an expert in politics. Hursey maintained that much of the criticism leveled at Mitten was “handpicked” and did not reflect how the government is run.

“I was surprised when I was elected how these people showed up and yelled at you,” she said. “We can’t have a city ruled by a small group of people who… complain and scream, but have no solution for anything.

“This isn’t a Game of Thrones,” she said. “People seem to think that way.”

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