The Evanston League of Women Voters is asking city officials to present plans for how the city would take over township operations if voters approve a referendum to dissolve the township next March.

In a letter to City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, the mayor and aldermen, the league’s president, Cate Whitcomb, says it’s important for voters to have good information on the issue well before they have to cast their ballots.

Here are excerpts from the league’s letter.

Before Evanston voters are asked to vote on this question, they need to know about both 1) the Township programs and how they are currently delivered; and 2) how the city intends to continue the work done by the Township.

  • Program operations. Will the current Township activities related to General Assistance, Emergency Assistance and Assessment be continued, reduced or enhanced?    Which City departments will be responsible for these programs?  Will any current Township activities be contracted out to Evanston agencies?  If so, which?
  • Funding. Where will funds for continuing support of current Township programs come from?  Will the Township tax levy be transferred and become part of the City tax levy?   What savings are anticipated from dissolving the Township?  Will the City resume responsibility for funding the Evanston social services and mental health services that have been funded through the Township in recent years?
  • Personnel. What will happen to current Township employees and elected official(s)?  What City staff will assume Township responsibilities?  Will the City hire new employees to administer these programs?
  • Timing. How long will the transition take?
  • Evaluation.  How will the transition of Township operations be assessed? 

The city manager told aldermen Monday that he will have a report providing answers to those questions in time for next Monday’s City Council meeting.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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