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Cuts would return city staff to 1970s levels

If the Evanston City Council tonight adopts the budget proposed by the city manager, it will return city staffing to levels of the mid 1970s.

City staffing hit a recent peak of 886 full-time-equivalent employees in 2002, according to the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

If the Evanston City Council tonight adopts the budget proposed by the city manager, it will return city staffing to levels of the mid 1970s.

City staffing hit a recent peak of 886 full-time-equivalent employees in 2002, according to the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

It has gradually declined since then to 840 this year.

Under the budget proposed by City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, and with modifications as recommended by the aldermen through last Wednesday, the new staffing level for the 2010-11 fiscal year would be 788 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Based on available records, it appears the last time the city’s staff was that small was in 1975-76 when it was about 775 people.

The historical data before 1999 is based on a 1991 report by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. Information for the period 1992 through 1997 was not readily available, but city employment in 1991 was 854 and in 1998 it was 822.

Evanston had 80,113 residents in 1970, according to the U.S. Census. After declining to 73,233 people by 1990, the city’s population has gradually increased to an estimated 77,693 in 2008. So, on a per-capita basis, the staffing level in the new city budget is still sightly higher than what it was roughly 35 years ago.

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