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Poll: City should rent out Civic Center

People voting in an online poll conducted by the city have named renting out vacant space in the Civic Center and eliminating township government among their most popular ideas for closing Evanston’s budget gap.

The poll was based on a list of suggestions developed during community budget workshop meetings. It was available online from Friday through Tuesday.

People voting in an online poll conducted by the city have named renting out vacant space in the Civic Center and eliminating township government among their most popular ideas for closing Evanston’s budget gap.

The poll was based on a list of suggestions developed during community budget workshop meetings. It was available online from Friday through Tuesday.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons told the Mayor’s Budget Task Force Wednesday night that about 15 percent of the office space in the Civic Center now is vacant because of reductions in city staffing in recent years.

Also among the top vote getters in the poll were a wage freeze for city employees, creating a marina on the lakefront and the perennial favorites "stop spending money we don’t have" and "reduce outside consulting costs."

Participants in the poll could select up to five options from a list of 55 suggestions. The complete results are available online.

The poll also asked residents to rank the importance of various city services.

If you see folks in the city’s vital records, fleet maintenance or city clerk’s office walking around with sad faces — it could be because they came in at the bottom of the list — with less than two percent of the people voting rating their departments as important.

At the top of the list in the poll results — police, fire and the library.

The full list of those results is also available online.

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