Evanston car owners always have to fork out money each year for a new city registration sticker. But this year they also have to decide which local non-profit they’d like to show allegiance to on the sticker they buy.

Evanston car owners always have to fork out money each year for a new city registration sticker. But this year they also have to decide which local non-profit they’d like to show allegiance to on the sticker they buy.

So, are you a Lighthouse Rotary or a McGaw YMCA fan? Decisions, decisions. The city ordered more ‘Y’ stickers, so if you’re a Rotary fan, you might want to order early.

The stickers go on sale Nov. 16. The price is $75 for passenger cars. Pickup trucks owners pay $105. Rates for other vehicles vary. If you don’t buy your sticker by Jan. 11, you’ll have to pay 50 percent more.

More information is available on the city website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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16 Comments

  1. Not a fan of either one
    Can I simply cut from the sticker the NGO logo and affix only the City of Evanston portion?

  2. I would much rather display a
    I would much rather display a “standard’ non-affiliated sticker. I don’t any involvement or support either one of these organizations.

  3. Question: why spend money on this?
    Why did the City spend the money to run two versions of the City sticker?

    With the City running in the red, this is another example of how the City needs to spend five minutes thinking about saving money, instead of spending extra money with no thought. Private sector businesses are looking for ways to save money anywhere and everywhere that they can. Unnecessary costs need to be eliminated.

    And yes, even if it’s only a thousand dollars or so — it sends a bad message about the City. It says that we’ve got money to burn and we don’t.

    I also don’t like using City funds to promote any organization. And when I slap the $75 required plastic square in my car window, it looks like I am endorsing that organization but I don’t want to.

    Look at it this way: the City is forcing every resident with a car to associate with an organization that the resident did not personally select. Is that a violation of the First Amendment? I’d rather that the City did not find out through a lawsuit.

    Run an art contest for kids or nursing home residents and pick the winner for the sticker. That can be done every year at little cost.

    1. Famous Potatoes
      I’m not sure that “private sector businesses are looking for ways to save money anywhere and everywhere that they can”…usually the criminals who run major corporations try to save money by squeezing it out of the workers…I don’t expect many executives to start slashing their own pay.

      But as for your question “Look at it this way: the City is forcing every resident with a car to associate with an organization that the resident did not personally select. Is that a violation of the First Amendment? I’d rather that the City did not find out through a lawsuit.”

      I wonder if Wooley v. Maynard(1977) is relevant here. The Maynards were Jehovah’s Witnesses in New Hampshire who objected to “Live free or die” on their NH license plate. In violation of state law, they covered up the slogan and were prosecuted by the state.

      Wikipedia says : ‘In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that New Hampshire could not constitutionally require citizens to display the state motto upon their vehicle license plates. The Court found that the statute in question effectively required individuals to “use their private property as a ‘mobile billboard’ for the State’s ideological message.” ‘

      I wonder how much editing of the City parking stickers would be acceptable. I don’t like advertising for YWCA or Rotary, but they aren’t as bad as the Temperance Union or Chuckie Dawes…

    2. 2 city stickers
      Cost was about $300 to honor the 2 organizations and, of course the wheel tax paid for the expense – just as the wheel tax paid for the new materials several years ago that makes it so much easier to apply the sticker and then peel it off.

      Every year for many many years now, the city sticker has displayed the identity of local organization celebrating a milestone. Imagine, if the 2 current organizations were not making their contributions to families and individuals in town! Your tax dollars would probably fill in the gap.

      1. city sticker history
        Can anyone (perhaps one of the proud ‘lifelong residents’) provide a history of city sticker honorees? I would like to know which organizations have been honored in the past, and how long has this unique and charming tradition been going on.

      2. Tax dollars should not be used to honor private organizations
        I am glad that there are not-for-profits providing what some consider to be valuable services to some residents of this town. But any real estate owned by these organizations is off the tax rolls so we are supporting them by letting them keep real estate taxes in their pocket.

        It is not appropriate to use tax dollars to honor private organizations. Every dollar of the wheel tax (read: city stickers) is a dollar collected by a government entity. It should not be wasted on “honors.”

        Also, it is inappropriate for a public entity to choose the not-for-profit that it wishes to honor.

        It seems that you have personal knowledge of the costs — perhaps as a city employee. It concerns me that you flippantly refer to tax dollars being used to “honor” private organizations. No wonder the City of Evanston is running in the red and makes so many bad decisions about how to spend money.

        I will oppose any future efforts to “honor” private organizations with tax dollars. It is wasteful and wrong, no matter what the amount.

        And gee thanks for using my tax dollars to make it easier for me to remove the required sticker from my windshield in the dead of winter. Making things easier for taxpayers is a worthwhile use of taxpayer dollars. You can’t compare it to having the City be a cheerleader for private organizations.

        1. Rotary Pays
          Perhaps you don’t know, but Rotary is one of the top taxpayers in town. First installment $194,685.37 (they paid early) and second
          installment is $211,543.80 for a total this year of $406,229.17.*

          It’s more than I pay. How about yourself?

          *Thanks to Ald. Ann Rainey for locating those figures.

          1. Rotary sticker
            That’s good that Rotary pays…Chase Bank pays too, and so do the owners of the Orrington and 1603. Still, they can’t force me to advertise for them on my car windshield.

            [Rotary, to its great shame, made Chuckie Dawes an honorary member back in 1925. They should revoke that honorary membership and denounce Dawes and everything that he represents..then I will happily advertise for them on the Whomobile.]

          2. Tell It To The City
            I’m sure that’s exactly how the Rotary sticker was proposed: We’ll FORCE citizens to endorse us!

            You could pick the YMCA sticker. You’ve already stated you would accept a Northwestern University badged sticker, so non-profit status must not be an issue for you. In that respect, I’m surprised you aren’t thanking the city for actually giving you a choice in the matter, considering your stated dislike of the Rotary over their 1925 honors.

            Or, and this is a pipe-dream, you could make your concerns known to the City Council regarding sticker art. Anonymous complaints on a barely moderated website don’t carry much weight with public officials, especially when they are randomly littered with “IHOP,” “Chuckie Dawes!” or “NPV.”

          3. City stickers ( ‘Moby Dick’ isn’t really about a whale)
            Jim Caldwell wrote:
            Or, and this is a pipe-dream, you could make your concerns known to the City Council regarding sticker art. Anonymous complaints on a barely moderated website don’t carry much weight with public officials, especially when they are randomly littered with “IHOP,” “Chuckie Dawes!” or “NPV.”

            Jim, you are missing the point. I am not grateful that the City is giving me a choice of which organization I must advertise for…even if I like the organization, the City has no business forcing this on me or anybody.

            As for my references to IHOP, Chuckie Dawes, and NPV…you don’t seem to realize that these are mere symbols for much more important themes. Was ‘Moby Dick’ about a whale? Was ‘The Crucible’ about witches? Was ‘Animal Farm’ about pigs?

            This isn’t about pancakes or the Tower or Chuckie Dawes, Jim. It is about values. Do we want Evanston to be a stuffy, intolerant, backwards(“quaint”) community of mediocre isolationists and inept government (symbolized by Chuckie Dawes ), or a world class, progressive, business friendly, tolerant , well=managed city that attracts people from around the world (NPV,IHOP,Tower)?

            Now back to the topic of City Vehicle Stickers…I got a letter today with the 2010 vehicle application. The yellow enclosure says “Purchase Your Sticker Online!…Logon to use the FREE service at http://www.cityofevanston.org

            I went to the cityofevanston.org cite, and didn’t see how to purchase the sticker online. I selected ‘Get a vehicle Sticker’, but didn’t see how to log in. Is it active yet?

            And, more importantly , does FREE mean that the $5 ‘convenience fee’ will no longer be charged? If not, what does ‘FREE’ mean?

  4. What can we do to prevent the
    What can we do to prevent the city from doing something similar next year? In addition to forcing citizens to advertise for an organization, it seems wasteful – there is surely an added cost for different designs, not mention that if we only need the bottom third (“City of Evanston”… vehicle sticker, expiration and number), producing something three times as big is a waste of resources.

  5. Only in Evanston
    Would this many people get this upset about something so pointless. Why do people get in arms about something so minuscule? Please, take that anger and put it to good use. Instead of complaining, go volunteer for one of the organizations or some other worthy cause.

    1. Only in Evanston — so true!
      Only in Evanston would someone declare that legitimate concerns about how the City spends taxpayer dollars should not be voiced.

      Taxpayers should not be required to be advertising billboards for the causes selected by City Hall. Like it or not, it is a citizen’s right to select the causes that they want to support or do not wish to support.

      Also, citizens have the right to tell elected officials when they are being wasteful and pursuing activities that are not in the taxpayers’ best interests.

      Please feel free to volunteer as you see fit. You should be congratulated for whatever good works you do. But that’s your choice. Here, the City has told all of us that we must endorse one of these organizations by plastering the organization’s name on our cars and that is not the government’s proper role.

      I will contact the ACLU to bring this situation to that organization’s attention. (As noted in a previous posting, the U.S. Supreme Court has already decided that a state can’t force its state motto on citizens. I’d be surprised that advertising for private causes can be forced on citizens.) Then we’ll all known whether the City’s actions are “so minuscule.”

  6. Wrong questions! I think we
    Wrong questions!
    I think we are asking the wrong questions. We need to ask why the city is allowed to require us to purchase a vehicle sticker. What purpose does that actual sticker serve? Aren’t we already taxed enough on sales tax, property tax, liquor tax, beach fees, library fees…? I am insulted that the city continues to squeeze us of even more taxes–even in this tough economic climate. Give me a break, Evanston!

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