Evanston aldermen Monday voted to file and forget the idea of spinning off the city’s public library into a separate library taxing district.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, had advanced the idea last fall as part of her objection to large spending increases by the appointed library board. To the extent those increases exceed a tax cap, they require approval of the City Council, and the council approved such an increase in this year’s budget.
At Rainey’s request, the city’s corporation counsel prepared a report for the council’s Rules Committee meeting Monday night that indicated the switch to a library district structure could be achieved either by approval of the library board and City Council, or by a referendum vote.
Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, moved that the committee accept the memo and place it on file, and that motion was approved unanimously without discussion.
Illinois has more local government entities than any other state in the nation — which many observers believe contributes to inefficiency and overall higher tax rates. Evanston just went through a years-long process to abolish one of those local government entities — Evanston Township.
After the vote, Library Board President Michael Tannen said he was “glad we can move forward” with the board as presently constituted.