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Aldermen trim assessor’s budget increase

Evanston aldermen voted Monday to give Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson about three quarters of the extra money she asked for in this year’s budget.

Wilson had requested that her actual spending of $83,592 last year be authorized to increase to $168,054 this year. But on a motion of Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, the aldermen voted to trim $20,000 from the budget request.

Evanston aldermen voted Monday to give Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson about three quarters of the extra money she asked for in this year’s budget.

Wilson had requested that her actual spending of $83,592 last year be authorized to increase to $168,054 this year. But on a motion of Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, the aldermen voted to trim $20,000 from the budget request.

The increase was criticized by former township assessor Sharon Eckersall, who’s now running on the Republican ticket for county assessor.

Eckersall, who had her budget slashed by the aldermen, claimed the new assessor doesn’t need the extra money.

Wilson argued she should be able to hire a full-time permanent deputy to deal with the expected surge in requests from taxpayers for help filing appeals after new assessments for Evanston residents are sent out in a few days.

But Holmes and other aldermen said they believe the cyclical nature of the work makes adding a full-time employee unnecessary — that a new part-time worker would be sufficient.

The office currently has one full time assistant in addition to the elected assessor who receives only part-time pay for her position.

Most of the aldermen had supported Wilson in her campaign last year to replace Eckersall as assessor.

The aldermen also voted to approve the rest of the township budget for the fiscal year that began in April.

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