Evanston’s Finance Department budget nearly tripled during the 2007-08 fiscal year when the city manager decided to shift a "miscellaneous expenditures and transfers" line item that had been on the manager’s office budget to the Finance Department.
What had been a $2.5 million item in the manager’s office budget became a $4.8 million item when it moved to its new home.
But budget watchers should probably be pleased with the shift — since the plan is to transfer $4 million of that money to the fire and police pension funds — making at least a small dent in the city’s ballooning financial obligation to those programs.
Including the "miscellaneous" item, Evanston spends about $100 per capita on its city finance department.
Take that money out of the equation and the per capita cost in Evanston is $36.81. With no similar "miscellaneous" item in their Finance Department budgets, Arlington Heights this year has budgeted $19.77 per capita and Skokie $16.25 for finance.
In Evanston the Finance Department’s staffing level at the start of the fiscal year was 25.5 full-time equivalent positions. Arlington Heights has 27.5 FTE jobs in its finance unit. Skokie reports 12 full-time, 7 part-time and 2 seasonal workers in finance.