Evanston Township holds open house at new location


Annabel Edwards/Daily Senior Staffer

Residents attend the Evanston Township open house Thursday afternoon. The open house was held to share information about the new location of township offices.

Rosalie Chan, Reporter

Evanston Township hosted an open house for its new offices Thursday at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, hoping to raise awareness of its services among residents.

The township offices moved to the civic center, 2100 Ridge Ave., in September from their previous location near the intersection of Dodge Avenue and Main Street. Acting township supervisor Wally Bobkiewicz said the move saved money.

“It’s good to have an open house to introduce its offices to residents in the Evanston Township,” said Bobkiewicz, who also serves as city manager. “It’s really just to share information about the services the township provides.”

Attendees could ask questions and learn about general assistance programs such as work training, counseling services, basic education, notary and medical assistance. In addition, they the center offers guidance on emergency assistance, property assessment services and taxpayer assessment services.

Evanston resident Kenneth Daily said he attended the open house to inform himself about programs for needy people, and he learned that they will not be cut.

“We need them,” Daily said. “Things are real hard and tight right now. A lot of my friends are struggling. I like the people here because they’re nice. They’re informative if anything new is coming up. We really like their help and how they stay in touch with us like a friend or neighbor.”

Peter Kitzhoefer, manager of Rolf’s Auto Care, also attended the open house. He said he wanted to learn more about the township assessor’s office.

“I wanted to know what services are available,” Kitzhoefer said. “There are people who come to my auto shop who don’t have a lot of money. I’d like to say, ‘Try the assessor’s office,’ or to try to point them to services.”

The open house came several weeks after City Council voted to ask voters in March whether they want to dissolve the township. Bobkiewicz said if the township is dissolved, its services would continue, but as a function of the city of Evanston.

Rodney Greene, city and township clerk, said he does not think that the dissolution will happen. However, he said that the people of Evanston have concerns about the possible dissolution.

“Now if the township is dissolved, the question is what services will be continued and how it will affect the community as a whole,” Greene said. “If it dissolves, the offices would stay, but I don’t think the whole staff will stay on board, and that’s the problem.”

Township assessor Bonnie Wilson said she disagrees with the possible dissolution and does not know how it would affect her office.

“I’m not happy with it because I know we do excellent service to the taxpayers of Evanston,” Wilson said.

Kitzhoefer said that if Evanston’s citizens have the same access to services, he would favor dissolution.

“My understanding is that the reason for this is that very important services can be more efficient for the budget, which can be leveraged for other things,” Kitzhoefer said. “I would be in agreement.”

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