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.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. What is the use of trying to

    What is the use of trying to get the council to do the right thing. So they voted for the status quo. This would be fine if they don't rubber stamp the library's requests to exceed the legal tax levy but we can't trust the city council.  For each of the 2 years that we have had a non-representive library board with taxing authority, the council has rubber stamped CAP busting budgets. To top it off, when council members complained that the library did not explain how the library extra funds, they approved it in their next breath.


    1. You Expect Different ?
      Why expect the Council to do anything different that rubber stamp what they already made their minds about.
      I recall a couple of years there was a proposal that all but one alderman voted for. The sole vote against, by an alderman who was considered ‘independent’ and responsible, then changed his/her vote so it would be unanimous.
      When voters keep putting the same people of the same party and same viewpoints, in office, the Council then sees themselves as rulers of the people and not accountable to the voters and free to do what they want with little or no fear of being voted out. The Pied Piper calls and the lemmings follow. [I know mixed stories.]

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