Evanston aldermen have approved an increase in the penalties for contractors who fail to hire Evanston residents on city-funded construction projects.

But the approved increase — to 1 percent of the contract’s value from $100 a day — is less that the 3 percent penalty proposed last spring by the city’s Minority, Women and Evanston Business Enterprise Development Committee.

The local employment program requires that on contracts valued at over $250,000 at least 15 percent of the total work hours at a construction site by laborers and tradesmen be done by Evanston residents.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz had criticized the committee’s original proposal, suggesting that the sharp increase in penalties could lead to fewer contractors bidding on city projects and sharply higher costs for taxpayers.

After further discussion, the committee voted to recommend the smaller penalty increase to the 1 percent level.

The revised measure was approved without debate Monday night.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Evanston should never isolate itself in this manner!

    ~~Again, our city government officials prove they don’t have a clue about the real world and running our city! They keep making “Feel Good” decisions that cost Evanston taxpayers money. We live in a global economy. We want the best qualified companies/contractors bidding on Evanston projects for the lowest possible price. What is a company to do? Do we want or expect them to fire or layoff their current full-time employees to hire people from Evanston to meet some employment quota to work in our community. What should these companies do have an Evanston Crew, a Skokie Crew, a Wilmette Crew and a Chicago Crew? Are you kidding me! There are a lot of people who live in Evanston making a living working in other communities. These Evanston families spend money and pay taxes in Evanston. Do we want those people to lose their full time jobs because other communities pass similar rules? Evanston is not big enough or wealthy enough to afford to isolate itself in this manner.

    1. You get what what you vote for

      You deserve the officials you elect. This new hiring rule is an example of why our property taxes, fees, fines and water rates keep rising. 

      Don't like it? Then get out there and do something like vote.

  2. Evanston staff employees

    Shouldn't Evanston employees in leadership positions be required to live in Evanston? Or do they get a special waiver?

    1. Mayor, City Council, and City

      Mayor, City Council, and City Manager should be required to live in the city, with council members living in their ward. Other city employees who may be required on an emergency basis, such as police and fire) should be required to live within 7 miles of Evanston be called in quickly.

      There may be other positions, like streets and san.. who should be considered emergency personal.

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