Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said today she returned from a week’s vacation “to find that everything had fallen apart,” and she called the Library Board’s action last week to disassociate itself from the city’s budget process and impose its own tax levy “taxation without representation.”

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said today she returned from a week’s vacation “to find that everything had fallen apart,” and she called the Library Board’s action last week to disassociate itself from the city’s budget process and impose its own tax levy “taxation without representation.”

But when asked if she planned to replace the Library Board members who voted 6 to 2 in favor of the move, her response was: “not today.”

Under state statutes the mayor can remove members of any appointed board whenever the mayor “is of the opinion that the interests of the municipality demand removal.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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3 Comments

  1. Mayors & City Councils (Past & Present) Fiscally Poor Stewards

    Nothing happens in a vacumn (ad nauseum). Unfortunately, our Mayors & City Councils (Past & Present) have completely earned the privilege of having the Library Tax Levy legally voted away from their control. In just the narrow interests of the Evanston Library system itself the fact that the Library has been underfunded (in comparison to the t tax dollars that the Library tax levy brings in) and our elected officials have used the Library tax dollars to "rob Peter to pay Paul" with interfund transfers within the City budget, therefore I completely support & trust our Library board to do a much better job than our elected officials in fiscally & operationally managing the Evanston Library. The Library Board can count on my full volunteer support & I know the huge & historic volunteer support that has been manifested the last 6 months.

    How did we get  here? How did such a courageous & historic vote to create a Library Fund pass 6 – 2  with volunteer citizens appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by Mayor Tisdahl herself?

    The Library Board of Trustees have a fiduciary duty to the Library. The volunteer & appointed citizen board by a clear majority took their vote for the future of the Evanston Library only after: the current City Council took actions to close a large part of the Library system (after years of annual budget threats to do so), the Council again underfunded the Library by not giving the full amount of the tax levy to the Library & robbing Peter to pay Paul with interfund transfers. On top of that an unprecented majority of citizens who personally chose to be active concerning this issue spoke loudly and clearly that: "Enough is enough!" 

    On the broader issue of how did we get here, let’s look at what " Taxation By Representation " has brought us as "citizen taxpayers of Evanston": 175 million dollar plus pension deficit, Evanston residents paying 5X more in water costs than residents of towns included in the Northwest Water Commision ( and increasing while non residents will have stable water rates until 2025 ),  TIF districts that divert our property tax dollars for the other taxing bodies shown on our property tax bills for 23 years to developer welfare etc. & resulting in a "BACK DOOR TAX INCREASE", and no property tax relief after the biggest building boom in my lifetime in Evanston.

    Given the actual and horrendous fiscal track record of our elected officials I would hope that all taxpaying citizens/voters in Evanston would give the Library Board their support in their legal right to have and control the Library Fund. Taxation by those who truly care about the Library enough to reinvent, improve, grow and fund fully our Library system represents me and I’m willing to guess a majority of my fellow citizens, especially the thousands that rose mightily up by contributing to put a stop to the madness of decimating the Library system.

     

     

  2. Library Friends to give kudos at tonight’s City Council meeting

    Well the Evanston Public Library Friends are rallying their troops to go in front of the City Council tonight to voice their support of the unelected Library Board voting itself a taxing body. It’s simply disgusting that this group collected donations and all along knew the Library Board was going to pull this stunt. Everyone who donated money to EPL and Save Our Branches should demand their donations back. It needs repeating – the City Council voted to cut funding in every department, including the library. So now the Library Board not only will keep the branches open by taxing us more but plan to open more branches. It’s another city tax on us and the Council and Mayor through their silence give it their blessing. Cities across the nation are cutting back. Camden, NJ has closed all of it’s libraries. In Evanston, this year we get a new library tax, water rates go up, property taxes remain high, sales taxes in Chicago and Cook County are the highest in the nation, Democrat candidates, including unelected Robyn Gabel of the 18th District, are campaigning to raise income taxes by 33 percent all the while we are in the third year of a severe recession, $13 billion in state debt and 10 percent unemployment. Shame on the Library Board, the mayor, the City Council, the Evanston Fire Union, the EPL, Todd Stroger, Larry Suffredin, Schakowsky, Gabel, ad nauseum Not a fiscal conservative in sight.

  3. One Appointment

    volunteer citizens appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by Mayor Tisdahl herself?

    Actually, she’s only appointed one.

    They serve 3-year terms, Kevin. Mayor Tisdahl has only been in office for a year and 4 months (give or take a few days. You ran for the council seat she was vacating, you should remember what year that was). In that time, only one position has been open for her to fill. Don’t take my word for it though – since I wouldn’t want people taking yours – look at the library’s website:  http://www.epl.org/index.php

    By counting backwards, you can see that only Diane Allen-Jacobi was appointed by Mayor Tisdahl (and yes, she did vote in the majority).

     

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