Aldermen may finally get a report from the committee studying Evanston’s public safety pension funding crisis next week.

The committee, which has been meeting since May, initially hoped to complete its report by the end of July. But it’s spent the last couple months editing drafts of its work.

At Wednesday night’s meeting committee members said they hoped to be able to deliver the final report to aldermen as soon as next Wednesday, without having to hold another meeting.

Committee members have repeatedly refused to make copies of drafts of the study available to the public, so it’s hard to be sure what the report will say.

But from comments members have made at committee meetings, it appears the report will conclude:

  • The $145 million pension funding shortfall estimated by the city’s actuaries is real — or as real as any actuarial forecast can be — and the city needs to make provisions to pay for it.
  • “Mistakes were made” in failing to recognize and address the growing pension problem sooner. But it appears the report will be mild in its criticism of city officials.
  • The city should do a better job of living within its financial means. But it appears the report will offer only generalities about how that goal might be accomplished.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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