Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz late Friday afternoon released a proposed budget for 2013 that includes a slight reduction in property taxes. It also calls for a net reduction of five full-time-equivalent city jobs as part of a plan to close a projected deficit of just under $1 million.

“Although the prevailing economic climate has shown some signs of improvement during the past year, the national economy remains an area of concern,” Bobkiewicz said.

“The performance of the national economy impacts the city in numerous ways including local employment, housing and economic development,” he said, adding that city staff has caefully monitored expenses and revenue to keep the city fiscally stable while still providing core services.

The proposed budget is available online.

If the proposed staffing reductions are adopted by the City Council, the city would have 793 full-time-equivalent employees next year, compared to a peak of 884 in 2006-07.

The city manager’s plan calls for eliminating a total of six full-time and three part-time positions and adding one full-time and four part-time jobs. Six of the positions to be eliminated are currently vacant.

The proposed 1.85 percent reduction in the property tax levy assumes that aldermen adopt the recommendation of the city’s pension actuary that it cut back on funding of fire and police pensions next year by roughly $700,000.

Several aldermen have indicated they are reluctant to make that cut and prefer to move more quickly to close the city’s huge unfunded public safety pension liability.

If they keep the pension funding at this year’s level, then the city’s property tax levy would remain essentially unchanged next year.

The budget projects increases in several revenue sources, including the athletic contest tax, the liquor tax, the real estate transfer tax and building permit fees, recreation program fees and cable franchise fees, for a total of over $1.7 million in new general fund revenue.

The aldermen are scheduled to hold their first session to review the proposed budget at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, and to adopt the budget by Monday, Nov. 19.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Look at the Levy Center

    Look at the Levy Center for staff cuts.  Three people there work in private offices behind a locked door, during bankers' hours, which means they're all there at the same time and seldom seen except for parties.

    Look at the Ecology Center.  Lack of public transportation means few citizens use it except for infrequent events, and they must come by car.  North Park Nature Center offers similar services on a broader scale, and Evanstonians are already in their cards to go there to examine a larger environment.

    1. RE staff cuts in Recreation

      I am looking at recreation budgets actuals


      Fleetwood Jourdain    $850,000 ex  to $227,000  rev

      Levy center                  $782,000 ex to $405,000 rev

      Ecology center             $372,000 ex to $330,000 rev

      None of them covers the operational cost with revenue, the ecology is close, and by the way its used on Week ends  on both Sat and Sun.

      Fleetwood is the least – profitable, looking at the numbers you would assume its mismanaged, Wally needs to look at it, but he will not the politics would be too great for him.

      Wally's newest statement is interesting more senior services – it looks to me the Levy center is well staff, what is the one position ombudsman actully doing?  Wally wants to hire a crisis cordinator, maybe the current position should handle it?

       When I join the Levy Center a few years ago, I did not even recieved one piece of information after I joined. I did not bother to renew my membership.  I do not believe we need a senior center, a recreation yes, but a place for seniors to make silly clay pots, is a real waste of taxpayer money.

      Wally's vision is very selective, at times when he has try to fix things, there still alot of fat here to cut, but he knows not to touch the fat the council members and the Mayor like.

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