Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl says the city will face new financial difficulties because of budget woes in Springfield and Washington.
Delivering her State of the City address at a luncheon meeting sponsored by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Tisdahl said the city could lose $1.4 million if a plan announced yesterday to cut local government funding from the state.
And she said that despite the “good work” of State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, the state’s financial problems “have no soution in sight.”
Sen. Daniel Biss at the State of the City luncheon.
“I will continue to lobby for pension reform, particularly for reforms that do not impact current benefits,” the mayor said, “but so far I am striking out.”
She called the federal government’s sequestration program “incomprehensible from a public policy point of view.”
It will cut HUD programs, including the Community Development Block Grant program that provides funding to Evanston, by about 5 percent this year, “and more trouble will follow that.”
The mayor claimed the city’s own finances are “relatively stable.” The city has maintained its AAA credit rating, the highest available. The city, she said, has met targets for general fund revenue, and kept spending below budget.
It’s also, she said, cut nearly 100 city jobs since 2006 “without significantly impacting services.”
The mayor noted that health services cut by the city have been picked up by the new Erie Family Health Center, which, with $650,000 in annual federal funding, has opened in temporary quarters in the Civic Center and will move to a permanent site at 1285 Hartrey Ave. on July 15.
Douglas Silverstein, president of NorthShore’s Evanston Hospital.
And NorthShore University Health Systems has pledged $1.8 million in funding over the next three years to make Erie’s expansion possible.
The mayor also praised efforts to provide more job traiing for young people who might otherwise end up turning to a life of crime and efforts to bring new businesses to the community.
She said the city is one of a handful of communities across the country that has reached its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 13 percent by the end of last year
And she said that Northwestern University has agreed to keep at least six football games a year at Ryan Field, only using Wrigley Field for a game in years when it has seven home games.