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City budget crunch meetings planned

Evanston’s city manager will seek City Council approval tonight to hold a series of four public meetings next month to come up with ideas on how best to balance the city’s budget next year in the face of declining revenue.

In a memo to the aldermen, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the meetings would give residents and city employees a chance to offer ideas on how to provide city services more efficiently, develop new non-tax revenue sources and identify city service priorities.

The process would begin on Saturday, Nov. 7, with an all-day meeting at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., to provide an overview of the city’s operations and finances.

Then two evening meetings would focus on different departments.

A Thursday, Nov. 12, session would look at the community development, fire, police and public works departments.


Evanston’s city manager will seek City Council approval tonight to hold a series of four public meetings next month to come up with ideas on how best to balance the city’s budget next year in the face of declining revenue.

In a memo to the aldermen, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the meetings would give residents and city employees a chance to offer ideas on how to provide city services more efficiently, develop new non-tax revenue sources and identify city service priorities.

The process would begin on Saturday, Nov. 7, with an all-day meeting at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., to provide an overview of the city’s operations and finances.

Then two evening meetings would focus on different departments.

A Thursday, Nov. 12, session would look at the community development, fire, police and public works departments.

And a Tuesday, Nov. 17, meeting would consider the city’s other units — health and human services, library, parks and recreation, finance, human resources, law and the city manager’s office.

Finally, on Monday, Nov. 30, a third evening meeting would gather consensus recommendations to the city manager for inclusion in the proposed budget to be prepared in December and to the City Council for its budget deliberations in January and February.

Bobkiewicz says people who attend the first, all-day session would be able to “participate fully” in the later meetings. Those who miss the first session could only observe the later meetings.

He says he wants directors of city departments to meet with their staffs to get suggestions from them on budget changes before the second and third meetings.

And he says there will be “Internet component” to the meetings to encourage public participation and that the meetings will be aired on the city’s cable television channel.

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