This was the year the City of Evanston’s budget problems moved to center stage.

The city had dealt for years in preparing its budgets with a chronic gap between projected revenue and spending of about $3 million. The solution year after year had been a mix of higher taxes and fees and more recently early retirement incentives to trim payroll.

This was the year the City of Evanston’s budget problems moved to center stage.

The city had dealt for years in preparing its budgets with a chronic gap between projected revenue and spending of about $3 million. The solution year after year had been a mix of higher taxes and fees and more recently early retirement incentives to trim payroll.

But as 2009 progressed, the recession and falling home values caused the projected budget gap for next year to soar, first to $8 million, and then to $9.5 million by year end — roughly a tenth of the total general fund budget

And homeowners, reeling from soaring property tax bills driven by the recent run up in home values, seemed disinclined to accept further tax increases.

After a series of community budget workshops, newly-hired City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz ended the year by proposing a sharp reduction in city staff — eliminating 47 positions from a total of 840 — plus an increase in sanitation service charges and other measures to close the gap.

Left for the new year is action by the City Council to approve, or modify, the budget proposed by the manager. Council deliberations on the budget are due to start on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Also: The Chicago Tribune has a feature story today recapping the budget workshop process.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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3 Comments

  1. Budget
    It is my thought that our City Manager & Council need to take a closer look at EDP’s administration positions and do some trimming. Likewise, it is my thought that EDP does not need to purchase any more new moving stock such as car/trucks for awhile.

    Let cut back on EDP’s budget and let this city services take some deeper hits. Our City crime profile does not support a continued excessive law enforcement division. I heard the argument about how high law enforcement budgets prevent crime.

  2. Moving Township Offices
    I am amazed that the taxpayers think that moving the township offices will save that much on the budget. When I moved from City Hall, I was paying rent and had a lease.

    If I remember correctly from our Township budget this year, the total rent for the year is somewhere around $80,400. We do still have a lease for approximately 6 more years.

    As a landlord myself, I know I would hold my tenants to a lease.
    The yearly figure is probably one salary for the City whereas, to move the Township, break a lease and get sued, I feel is not worth it. Maybe the City ought to cut another job instead of trying to break a lease and get a lawsuit. The dollar amount is not significant enough to make a dent in the large deficit.

    Also, what would the City charge the township in the way of rent? I had to pay rent and my office also had a lease.

    1. former township assessor.
      Hey..this reminds me…isn’t Eckersall’s term finally over at the end of this year?

      I hope that the new Assessor will work towards eliminating the office entirely.

      Happy New Year!

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