With Evanston aldermen calling for study of how township government in Evanston could be abolished — with at least some of its functions absorbed by the city — what’s your view on the issue?

The township now provides some welfare assistance to indigents who don’t qualify for other government aid, and it provides advice to property owners about how to challenge their tax assessments — advice that also is available from the Cook County Assessor’s office.

Should Evanston Township be abolishedonline surveys

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    You will not receive advice on how to contest your assessment from the source of that assessment.  The County Assessor will not provide you with comparable properties to use in contesting the amount of your assessment.  However, you can try and find them yourselves on the website of the County Assessor. 

    The Evanston Township Assessor has programming designed to locate comparable properties to contest your assessed value to either the Cook County Assessor or the Cook County Board of Review.

    Nicholas B. Pavletic III

    Deputy Assessor of Evanston Township 

  2. Abolish Township

    I feel that something needs to be done in the Assessor's Office.  It is overstaffed and the salaries are too high.  As I mentioned at a meeting, either freeze the salaries, or lay off the Assistant.  We are not in a reassessment year, permits for building are down, and transfers of properties are down.  This indeed is the bulk of the work in the office. Why do we need two full time people.  I would do the work involved by getting the above in PIN numbers in order and Darnell would input and file.

    I survived with a total budget of $86,000, so can they. I feel that there is some insecurity on behalf of one of the employees and in order to cover it up, a Deputy was hired. 

    I would like to see the Assessor answer questions, and not rely on her Deputy for the answers. She was elected to the office, therefore, she should know the work involved.

    Definitely, it would be in order to cut back the staffing which would decrease the budget.

  3. Software in Township Assessor’s Office

    Yes, there is a program in the Assessor's Office with comparables, however, when there are sales in the County/Township, the sales are not reflected accurately on the county website. The assessed value is not reflected properly and taxpayers are paying more than they should on their taxes.  Many times I felt that the software actually was not up to date and worthless.

    Therefore, how can the Deputy Assessor say that he is helping taxpayers when the comparables on the website are wrong and inflated? This is very misleading.

  4. What does the Township do?

    On the fact of it, most assume that a Township and City with overlapping, identical boundaries is at best redundant and at most wasteful.  However, I'm not sure most people even know where there is a separation between City and Township, apart from historical inertia and bureaucracies' tendency to protect themselves at all costs.

    As a new resident of Evanston and the State of Illinois, I have little familiarity with local and state government.  In conversation with longer term residents, however, it seems I'm not alone.  I'd very much like to understand the role the Township plays in local government and think this would be a wonderful story for Evanston Now to undertak. 

    What does the Township do?  Is its scope limited to property assessment?  Why aren't the city, county or state responsible for those activities?  Why is important to the City or to an individual home owner, business owner or resident that the Township exist?  Can a department within City government do the same work at the same price or less?  What is the Township's budget and staff compared to that of the City? Is the Township, as a legal entity, beneficial to the City in a way a department within City government would not be, i.e., can the Township do things a City cannot do under County or State regulations/laws?

    The Deputy Assessor of Evanston Township provided one, practical reason for the existence of the Township: "You will not receive advice on how to contest your assessment from the source of that assessment.  The County Assessor will not provide you with comparable properties to use in contesting the amount of your assessment."  However, the follow-up answer would be whether this activity alone justifies the expense of a Township.  Can this same work be done in a different way, without a Township?

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