Evanston’s appointed Library Board, which wishes to exempt the library from the financial sacrifices the recession has forced our elected aldermen to impose on all city departments, will entertain questions from the public Saturday about the decision it has already made to impose its own tax levy.

Evanston’s appointed Library Board, which wishes to exempt the library from the financial sacrifices the recession has forced our elected aldermen to impose on all city departments, will entertain questions from the public Saturday about the decision it has already made to impose its own tax levy.

The timing of the session, at 10 a.m. on the Saturday morning of the last summer weekend before the start of the new school year, seems designed to minimize public participation.

But we hope taxpayers will turn out anyway at the community meeting room on the first floor of the downtown library, to say whether they think forming yet another single-purpose taxing body dominated by a special interest group is a swell idea for Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. The 10am Saturday morning

    The 10am Saturday morning meeting timing isn’t nearly as scandalous as the fact that the unaccountable library board only got around to holding "open forums" after deciding on the tax increase!

    The library board has no legitimacy.  They know they have acted duplicitously and dishonestly.  In their actions they have shown that they have nothing but contempt for the public. 

    Frankly these hastily and incoveniently scheduled "forums" are nothing but a sham.  If these people really gave a damn about the public they would have provided straightforward information and taken public input prior to their vote.

    A better use of people’s time would be to attend the Sept. 13 City Council meeting and demand that the Mayor sack the unrepresentative board.

  2. Truth & Honesty Re: The Library Tax Levy

    Bill Smith’s editorial reminds me of 2 quotes:

    " I have too much respect for the truth to drag it out on every trifling occasion. " Mark Twain

    " In show business the key word is honesty. Once you’ve learned to fake that, the rest is easy. "

    George Burns

    Some other observations:

    "special interest group ", gee, since when are public libraries that are open to all considered  a special interest group? Are not the loyal opposition to be considered a special interest group also. Isn’t Evanston Now a special interest group as a "for profit" local outlet?

    " the recession forced our elected aldermen " wow, all of this occured from the recession, not from bad financial decisions made by our senior alderman & Mayor Tisdahl on their watch. Is the 175 million dollar pension liability the fault of an external, uncontrollable and unforseeable event? Why no, our own elected officials put us there themselves, over a very long time. Gee, where is the outrage over that fact? Does the special interest group fighting against the Library Board reclaiming their rightful administrative & financial control of the Library’s tax levy (voted on by referendum in 1946) really want to trust our elected officials with their tax dollars?  The evidence and facts would seem to be very much in favor of the Library Board. Could the Library Board  do worse than a 10.5 million budget deficit  for the last FY,  175 million plus & growing pension liability & the recent front page disclosure in the Chicago Sun Times that our elected officials  (another special interest group) spent 40k in legal fees attempting  to collect  $ 635.00 in a 50/50 alley paving dispute that also involved taking down a tree that according to an arborist that was quoted did not need to be taken down. Perhaps, we really aren’t Tree City after all, especially when it was a daughter and her elderly mother whose religious beliefs forbids being a participant in killing living things. It’s good to know that our elected leaders have their priorities in order. Finally, it’s curious that when searching the word "tree" on Evanston Now, there was no mention of this "outrageous use of the taxpayers dollars" story, only of a tree blown down on Sherman in June. Oh, I forgot let’s keep our fellow citizens focused on the Library issue only so they won’t pay attention to the real problems of  "how we got in this fiscal mess in the first place" . It certainly didn’t happen in a vacumn or is there anyone that wants to state that this all "magically occured" overnight.

    As for the comment  "minimize public participation", I am very happy to see Bill Smith pick up on this issue, however Bill should not stop at just how this relates to the Library Board "only" , I fully expect Bill to write another editorial about  " Citizen Comment" @ the City Council being limited to only 3 minutes. I’m not sure that any other municipalities have such a limit, but it is hard to accomplish a  total comment in 3 minutes.

    "swell idea": I think it would be a grand idea for Bill Smith to run for alderman or mayor in the next election. Bill is unafraid to give his opinion, he leaves facts out conveniently,  he is able to lead  the opposition against the #1 issue in Evanston (according to Bill) the Library Board & Library tax levy, he has plenty of experience in sitting through long & boring meetings, he controls the message through his medium selectively, etc. etc. in other words Bill has all the right skills to be a politician in Evanston. Whoever thought the press & the politicians would be on the same side so consistently?  Obvoiusly, one or the other, or neither are doing their job?

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