Trustees once again seek more information on township dissolution

Alexandria Johnson

As Monday’s Evanston City Council meeting stretched toward midnight, further discussion of dissolving Evanston Township was tabled by general consensus of the township trustees.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz recommended holding a special meeting on Oct. 24 to discuss a letter to state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) requesting advice from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan about initiating the referendum. The proposed letter was released to the trustees Monday afternoon.

Because the City of Evanston and Evanston Township possess the same borders and share some of the same services, the dissolution has emerged as a possible pathway to a more efficient local government.

“I think we should keep moving this forward and request clarification and make every effort to make this as clear and as straightforward as possible,” trustee and Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) said.

Some trustees indicated concern and confusion about the direction of the suggested dissolution. Trustee and Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) voiced concerns about how the township’s responsibilities would be distributed if it were to be dissolved.

“If the township were to dissolve, who would be the township supervisor or assessor?” Rainey asked. “I just think we need to rethink this letter.”

The intent of the letter and direction of the dissolution have left trustees uncertain.

“I do agree with Ald. Rainey regarding the letter,” trustee and Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) said. “There’s a high level of frustration. There’s confusion about what moving forward. It’s completely unclear.”

Efforts to investigate the feasibility and merits of the referendum will resume at the Oct. 24 meeting.

“I think we can all agree we need general assistance. Perhaps we can still agree that the request can only help and guide us in this,” trustee and Ald. Jane Grover (7th) said.

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