Officials, residents discuss referendum to dissolve Evanston Township


(Bailey Williams/The Daily Northwestern)

State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) addresses Sixth Ward residents on new state legislation.

Bailey Williams, Assistant City Editor

Ald. Mark Tendam (6th) discussed the possible dissolution of Evanston Township on Thursday night during a meeting with 6th Ward residents.

City manager and acting township supervisor Wally Bobkiewicz gave general information about the upcoming referendum to dissolve the township. He noted elected officials could not advocate for the measure at public meetings.

The township, an organization that provides general assistance for residents, shares the same boundaries with the city of Evanston and is up for possible dissolution on the March 18 election. 

Resident Frederick Hess asked about the township’s total budget and sources of money. Bobkiewicz said over the last few years the budget has been about $1.2 million to $1.3 million and added that the funds were raised locally.

State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) discussed new state legislation. The passage of medical marijuana and concealed carry sparked the most discussion. The concealed carry law allows residents to legally carry concealed guns in a public. State spending was also a contentious topic during Fine’s presentation.

“The problem is, we have spent ourselves into a hole over these past years and now we are trying to make up for it,” she said.

Fine also discussed a group advocating for “Pay it Forward,” a program that would allow college students to wait to pay for their education until after graduation. A portion of their income would be placed in a fund for future students.

Near the end of the meeting, 6th Ward resident Sigrid Pilgrim discussed a “lakefront protection ordinance,” a draft proposal some organizations created in light of the Harley Clarke Mansion situation. The proposal would leave the lakefront for Evanston residents, instead of commercial uses.

Evanston Police Officer Loyce Spells shared the 2013 crime report at the meeting. About 85 percent of the 107 violent 6th Ward crimes were burglaries, Spells said.

Spells also discussed “confidence scams,” door-to-door crimes in which people representing fabricated companies visit homes. The impostors try to get residents out of their homes long enough so another person could enter and take valuables.

He also discussed two incidents involving hazardous materials reported last month. Two bottles containing a mixture of ammonia-like liquid and tin foil were found in northwest Evanston at the end of December, police said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify city manager Wally Bobkiewicz is not an elected official.

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