Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
animal shelter, thank you


home : city news : city news May 26, 2016

11/20/2012 4:23:00 PM
Budget Process Truncated By Lack of Controversy
By Mary Helt Gavin


So smooth was the Nov. 10 budget meeting that, at the City Manager’s suggestion, City Council members cancelled the Nov. 13 and Nov. 19 budget meetings and seemed prepared to approve the budget for fiscal year 2013 at their Nov. 26 meeting.

The $248 million budget is balanced with some new and some increased fees but with no increase in the City’s portion of the property tax. A 3 percent water-rate hike is scheduled for July of next year.

Only one person spoke at the public hearing on the budget, which, along with a truth-in-taxation hearing at which no one spoke, preceded Council’s deliberations at the Saturday morning meeting.

Richard Lanyon, chair of the Utilities Commission, spoke in favor of the proposed $6 million capital improvement program, which he said would provide needed maintenance, repair and replacement of the City’s water and sewer infrastructure.

The Utilities Commission, he said, “highly encourages City Council to continue investing in renewing the City’s aging sewer and water infrastructure,” replacing 100-year-old water mains, rehabbing the dilapidating sewers and maintaining the water-utility infrastructure and improving the treatment plant to “comply with federal and state regulations and provide a safe, reliable and effectively functioning” water system.

The Utilities Commission also supported the July water-rate hike as “necessary for funding for the [needed] capital repairs.”

Only a few changes were made at the Nov. 10 meeting. One was the withdrawal of the proposed position for a crisis intervention coordinator in the Health Department. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, who had proposed the position, recommended that it be withdrawn and that the funds remain under the City Manager’s purview. He said that since the proposal had been made known, two local organizations had expressed interest in helping provide the service.  He said he would talk with members of the City’s Mental Health Board and representatives of the two organizations, Presence St. Francis and Youth Organizations Umbrella.

Aldermen also approved funds for additional security along Dodge Avenue, a request from Evanston Township High School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon passed along to the Council by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

Additional security cameras would be provided at Dempster, Lake, Church and Lyons streets from funds in next year’s budget, unless the funds could be found to install the security cameras this year, incorporating them into the police security-camera system.

City staff will work out a funding plan for additional lighting along Church Street both east and west of Dodge Avenue and present it to the City Council in January.

New in the budget this year is a set of performance review standards for City staff. Mr. Bobkiewicz said the standards are designed to assess the efficiency of City services and provide transparency in government.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, applauded the measure and said, that when constituents ask how the City is spending the taxpayers’ money, “We have something to point to.”

A five-page memo from Chief Financial Officer Martin Lyons, responding to a request from Mayor Tisdahl, said that the police officers pension fund would be 50 percent funded by 2016 and the firefighters pension fund by 2017.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, cautioned that these were only estimates. “We’ve made several assumptions,” she said. “Some of them are quite simplified and not actuarially solid. That concept is embedded in [Mr. Lyons’s] memo.”

By law, City Council must approve a balanced budget by Jan. 1, 2013, the beginning of the next fiscal year.





Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable welcomes your comments. We will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   



Click to View Upcoming Events
<May>
SMTWTFS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Submit Event







HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsHow To
animal shelter, thank you

Copyright 2008-15 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved


: