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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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. Staff Cuts Will Bring Huge Savings
    Kudos to the City Manager for tackling the budget deficit. Big savings can only come from reducing staff.

    According to United Taxpayers of Illinois, 3,597 former Illinois government employees receive over $100,000 per year in pensions. Many retire at age 55.

  2. Staffing Levels
    Comparing FTE’s across years can be very misleading. Who knows what services are now being contracted for that were provided by employees 30 years ago. Given State pension craziness, I would suggest continuing to contract out services and let the contractors deal with employee benefits.

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