Evanston’s Human Services Committee voted this week to raise payments to general assistance clients by 25 percent — to $500 a month.

Township Supervisor Pat Vance says it’s the first increase in the assistance payments in three years.

Vance said 98 city residents are now receiving the general assistance payments.

The increase was approved Monday as part of the committee’s review of the township budget for the fiscal year that started April 1.

None of the aldermen on the five-member committee questioned the increase.

The budget calls for drawing down the town’s fund balance, which now is equivalent to about 14 months worth of township spending, and it reduces the general assistance property tax levy by about 10 percent.

Alderman Jane Grover said she supports those changes, saying the fund balance had been too large for a long time.

Vance and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said they were resuming discussions about a variety of possible cost-saving measures that the township might achieve by sharing services with the city.

Bobkiewicz noted that those had been put on hold during the advisory referendum campaign earlier this year in which voters approved continued efforts to dissolve the townshp by a 2-to-1 margin.

The budget still requires approval from the full town board, composed of the entire City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Who’s looking out for the taxpayers?

    So the 98 residents on the dole get a 25 percent increase.

    Last year, the Evanston Township Assessor got about an 80 percent increase in its budget. The Township deputy assessor got a pay raise this year.

    The Township Assessor, Bonnie Wilson, a part-time employee who sets her own hours, has applied to receive a pension. Yet Evanston voters by a 2-1 margin voted to dissolve the Evanston Township.

    City union employees keep getting their annual pay raises.

    In the past two years, the City of Evanston has raised taxes in the double digits, created a 2 cent gas tax, raised water and sewer rates, fees and fines. For several years now, property values have declined while property taxes on average keep going up.

    It's nice to know that someone is looking out for the 98 residents who got a 25 percent raise.

    Question – Who is looking out for the other 74,902 residents? It sure ain't the City Council or the Evanston Township Assessor's Office.

    Get active! Vote!

  2. Why did it take them so long to realize ?

    Did they just wake up yesterday and realize the overfunding ?  What else have they missed ? What are we paying them for—waiting for residents to point things out ?

    Maybe these 98 people need assistance but where did the 25% number come from ?  Is this like a company spending its budget so they can at least keep it as large next year ? 

    Most residents would be in favor of helping those truely in need but can we even trust the Council or Township to identify who is really in need ?  Many residents would wonder who is getting the aid and what are they doing with it.  We have to question who is really in need—-go to EPL and you will see people of working age sleeping [not as many as there used to be] or sitting at the computer terminals listening to music, watching sports or pornography, etc. for as long as they can stay on a terminal [some must use friends IDs or found how to game the system because they are there 4+ hours a day].  Having listened to music or watched baseball games does not get you there. The rule most un-employed are taught is making the job search your 'job' 8+ hours a day.  Can't find a job because of lack of education or skills ?—-read in the library to develop at least enough that potential employers will see something they like—even if just a desire to improve.

    Hard hearted ? No.  This is the real world not a mother state.  The truely in need need help, those that can work should.  As it is we see evidence this is not some/all of those looking for help.

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