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Evanston aldermen this week voted not to take legal action against the Community Animal Rescue Effort to try to get funds raised for an aborted expansion project at the city’s animal shelter.

Instead the aldermen voted to cooperate with whatever investigation the state attorney general’s office may undertake on the issue.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said he’d of course prefer to have the money for the shelter.

But the fundraising CARE did was not exclusively for the building fund, Wilson said. “If there were 1,000 donors, there may have been 1,000 different reasons” for the donations they made.

CARE never took money from the city, he said, so the city isn’t in a position to demand the money back — the individual donors would have to do that.

Although Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said she worried that the decision might harm fundraising for the shelter in the future, Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said the city’s pursuit of its former partner in running the shelter almost seemed like a “witch hunt.”

“The agreement dissolved, and it was everybody’s fault that it dissolved,” Rainey said, adding that she had no doubt that any money CARE raised will ultimately be used to help animals.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. The core value

    I suppose a few Evanston residents may not be happy that money raised by CARE over the years cannot be used exclusively for the Evanston Animal Shelter. However, I believe the core value of the volunteer-run non-profit CARE organization is to serve all animals in the North Shore of which Evanston is a part of, and the need to hunt down the money that is meant for all to serve a small section does feel like a witch hunt.

  2. Another mess showing the lack of leadership of the city?
    Once again the city screwed up, what leadership did our Mayor and council member friends really show here on this issue. Wally at one point has claiming he could sell off the shelter for his mostly failed economic development efforts.
    If they want the funds from CARE at this point why don’t they come up with the expansion plans for the shelter and the total costs, execute the contract and ask care to provide the funds along with city funds?
    For one thing Wally can’t put together a real project, what happen with Robert Crown? He claimed it would not cost us a penny, now it will be our total cost.

    This mess is typical the city wants the funds for their own purposes not to really help the animals.

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