Evanston aldermen Monday decided to take no action to restrict links from the official city website to private websites maintained by aldermen, despite months of complaints from the Evanston chapter of the NAACP.

The dispute began last summer after Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, in a private e-mail message that another person quoted in a post to a local message board, called two NAACP members “meddlers” in a controversy at Oakton School, a remark for which she later apologized.

In retaliation the group sought to have the city expunge the link from the city website to a site Rainey maintains, which in turn links to message boards that have contained comments some NAACP members dislike.

Ultimately the aldermen decided the resolution to their concerns had been on the city website all along, in the form of a disclaimer notice which in part says the city does not endorse the content of external web sites to which it links.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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