Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Manager’s Plan Consolidates City Government

By Megan CrepeauThe Daily Northwestern

City Manager Julia Carroll submitted a 2007-08 budget proposal in December, outlining a number of potential changes which include outsourcing health services, increasing property taxes and eliminating two departments within Evanston government.

City Council is set to adopt a new budget plan, which will take effect March 1 and expire Feb. 29, 2008. If the city manager’s plan is adopted, the city will have addressed the $2.5 million to $4 million gap in Evanston’s budget in part by removing the Human Resources and Facilities Management Departments.

The plan would eliminate more than 26 full-time positions (including 10 that are currently vacant) and add nine new jobs, including a youth coordinator, a plan reviewer for the Community Development Department and a civil engineer for Public Works. In addition, the position of emergency preparedness manager will be expanded to a full-time job. According to Carroll, the city will save a total of $1.7 million if the proposal is approved.

Laid-off union employees will receive severance pay according to their contracts, along with three months of pay and health insurance; non-union employees will be given essentially the same deal, which is “very common in the private sector” Carroll said. Union employees will be given two-and-a-half months’ notice while non-union employees will be given four months.

Two full-time employees in the Human Resources Department would be laid off, including Department Director Paula Haynes. Haynes has worked for the city since 1974. She chose not to speak about the new budget proposal since it has not yet become official city policy.

Facilities Management would become part of the Public Works Department and as a result, Director of Facilities Management Max Rubin would also lose his job. Rubin, who has worked for the City of Evanston for 29 years, is responsible for the city’s public library, garages and the Levy Senior Center. He declined to comment on the possible downsizing.

“How I feel about it is a personal thing,” he said.

Other changes in the proposed budget include:

-A 5.5 percent increase in property taxes. The extra money will go to the city’s general fund and to pay debt service.

-The outsourcing of certain health services, including flu shots, school physicals, clinics, HIV/AIDS services and immunizations. If the budget is approved, the local hospitals, Planned Parenthood or another organization will take over. Governmental services will be phased out by June 30 to fulfill the city’s obligations to state and federal grants. The Health Division will continue to provide birth and death certificates, the Food and Environmental Health Services and the Children’s Dental Clinic. It still will operate the Commission on Aging, Mental Health Board, and Community Intervention Services.

-Making the recycling charge would a sanitation charge and increasing it to $5 per household.

-Implementing a yard waste sticker program to help reduce the cost of the yard waste services program.

-An increase in the ambulance fee from $300 to $350 for Evanston residents and from $400 to $450 for non-residents.

The City Council will discuss the proposal in a series of budget meetings throughout January and February. There will be a public hearing on Feb. 5.

Delores Holmes (5th) said that the council has not yet formed any general opinion on the potential budget.

“I think it’s too early for comment,” she said last night.

Reach Megan Crepeau at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Manager’s Plan Consolidates City Government