Evanston Township supervisor Gary Gaspard resigns, cites time commitment

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Evanston Township supervisor Gary Gaspard resigns, cites time commitment

Evanston Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard poses with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Gaspard resigned from his position Thursday after less than five months on the job.

Evanston Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard poses with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Gaspard resigned from his position Thursday after less than five months on the job.

Courtesy of Gary Gaspard For Evanston Township Supervisor

Evanston Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard poses with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Gaspard resigned from his position Thursday after less than five months on the job.

Courtesy of Gary Gaspard For Evanston Township Supervisor

Courtesy of Gary Gaspard For Evanston Township Supervisor

Evanston Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard poses with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Gaspard resigned from his position Thursday after less than five months on the job.

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

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Evanston Township supervisor Gary Gaspard resigned Thursday after less than five months on the job, further emptying an office whose fate remains more unclear than ever.

Gaspard announced his decision in a letter to Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and city clerk Rodney Greene.

“The job of Township Supervisor requires more time than I anticipated,” Gaspard wrote. “Because of the time commitments, I regret to tell you that I can no longer serve.”

His resignation was effective Friday, and the township board is scheduled to discuss the appointment of the next supervisor Monday night. The council members also serve as trustees of the township, which has the same boundaries as the city but functions as a separate entity.

Gaspard declined to comment further Friday, telling The Daily he was still preparing a statement for reporters.

In the April election, Gaspard beat Keith Banks, executive director of the Evanston Community Development Association, for the part-time position. Tisdahl, Ald. Coleen Burrus (9th) and Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) endorsed Gaspard, whose campaign partly focused on saving taxpayers’ dollars.

Despite that goal, Gaspard was widely criticized when he presented his first township budget proposal to the Human Services Committee in August. The plan called for a 29 percent increase in spending.

The committee refused to recommend the budget to the council, calling it unrealistic and urging Gaspard to start over from scratch.

“The budget that was presented to us was completely out of line,” Burrus told Gaspard at the time. “We have a fiscal problem in this community, and to present a budget like this — I think it’s insulting to the township trustees.”

Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) said she had to meet with Gaspard twice before his presentation because his original budget was “embarrassing.” He initially defended his plan but then promised to revise it.

Gaspard’s departure comes as aldermen weigh the future of the township, which handles general assistance for the needy and tax advice for residents. At its Sept. 23 meeting, the council introduced a proposed ordinance that would allow residents to vote in March to abolish the township.

Gaspard’s resignation leaves another seat to fill in the township office. Incoming assessor Sharon Eckersall was found dead in her home in September, and township trustees are expected to pick her successor late this month or next month.

Outgoing assessor Bonnie Wilson declined to comment Friday on Gaspard’s exit, saying she will make a statement at the council meeting Monday night.

Email: patricksvitek2014@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @PatrickSvitek

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