A last-minute addition to the 2023 Evanston city budget will give council members some outsourced staffing help.
On a motion by Ald. Bobby Burns (5th), the City Council Monday night approved spending $68,042 to get a total of 80 hours a month of executive assistant help during 2023 from a New York-based company called Worxbee.
Dylan Smith, business development manager for Worxbee, told the Council the company’s virtual administrative assistant solution can handle unique needs on a fractional hours model, including producing ward newsletters.
Burns and Ald. Devon Reid (8th) have been pushing for such staff support and previously proposed that the city create a fund that would let each alder hire his or her own contractor to perform such tasks.
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said he’d prefer that an employee be added to the city staff to do that work, but that he’d “reluctantly support” the outsourcing idea for next year.
The proposal was approved on a 7-1 vote with Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) voting no.
The $68,042 fee works hour to an hourly rate for the job of $70.88.
Burns, in a phone call Tuesday morning with Evanston Now, said his understanding from the company is that — because they only bill for actual hours worked — they deliver twice as much value for the hourly rate as having a regular employee — who would end up being paid for breaks and various distractions during the business day.
In another late addition to the budget, the Council voted 8-0 in favor of an amendment from Burns to provide $70,000 in city support for the Shorefront Legacy Center, a non-profit that documents Black history on the North Shore.