Evanston’s proposed new city budget calls for an 8 percent increase in general fund spending over the expected actual expenses for the current year.

Add in other operating funds and the city expects to spend $213.7 million next year, an increase of 13.6 percent over what was budgeted this year.

Evanston Now wants to hear from Evanston residents and taxpayers about how they’d rewrite the budget. What would you cut to reduce spending? How would you increase revenue to trim the proposed 15 percent property tax boost?

Here’s a chart summarizing proposed general fund spending for each city unit.

Proposed general fund spending
Over the next several days we’ll provide more detail about what each department does and take a closer look at suggestions you and other folks make for budget changes.

So, sharpen your pencils! After all, it’s your money.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Details available?
    Is there futher detail available for these line items? I’m curious why HR costs are doubling, especially when only a few new employees are being added. Also curious what makes up the Finance figure – is it mostly employees or outside advisory services?

  2. Can Head count be provided

    For detailed info you are planning to post. Is it possible to provide head count on each department? Also, info of additional budget of each department allocated outside of head count.

    For example…
    Looking at City Manager’s Office $5.5M budget and approximately 30 head count. $180K per head count ($5.5M / 30) seems too high if these budget was only for salary. Is there some $ allocated out side of salary?

    If headcount and high level usage of budget is provided, we can see more interesting insights.

    You already questioned a high number of CIty Manager office head count compared to neighbor cities. How about comparison of average salary for City Managers?

    Finance budget is going up 20% ($1.8M increase) compared to last year??? That seems very odd to me. All the sudden there is more # crunching that Finance must to do in 2008 compared to 2007 ? What is behind of sudden increase? I can not think of reason why Finance task fluctuates so much for city management operation. It is not like City of Evanston is buying out another city in 2008. (Coorporation often increases finance resource in case of acquisition). What event requires city to increase finance budge by $1.8M in 2008? Is Finance getting expensive Third party consulting service that should be handled by current staffing?

    Also HR budget is 50% increased.. What is the rationale behind this increase? Is there major staffing activity that HR needs to engage in 2008 to justify 50% increase? Head count increse? System upgrade? What is this increase for?

  3. what’s the story?
    City Manager, What’s the story?

    New Hires?

    Salary increases? You told us last year it was 4%

    If we look payroll to payroll one year apart we can see how the City Manager is spending our money.

    Evanston Payroll 11/29/07 is $2,230,930.78 see Dec 10, 2007 agenda.

    The Evanston Payroll 11/30/06 is $2,032,148.91 see Dec 11, 2006 agenda.

    That looks like a 10% payroll INCREASE to me.

    What’s the story?

  4. The question is what
    The question is what wouldn’t I cut? The people here expect the government to do everything. It’s a disease, really. And there is no cure.

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