Evanston Township dissolution certified


Bailey Williams/The Daily Northwestern

City health director Evonda Thomas-Smith addresses aldermen and other officials during the township’s annual meeting. City manager Wally Bobkiewicz announced during the meeting that the dissolution of the township had been certified by Cook County.

Bailey Williams, Assistant City Editor

Interim township supervisor Wally Bobkiewicz announced Tuesday that the vote last month to dissolve Evanston Township had been certified by the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

At the annual township meeting held Tuesday night, Bobkiewicz confirmed that voters elected to dissolve the township by a near two-to-one margin, with a final vote of 5,065 in favor and 2,889 against.

“I am deeply disappointed that Evanston Township will be (dissolved) at the end of this month,” township assessor Bonnie Wilson said. “My hope is that the city of Evanston will continue to provide the same level of services that I and my staff have provided to the taxpayers in Evanston these four and a half years.”

Bobkiewicz, who also serves as city manager, said he is working to transition the township services to city management by the end of the month.

“We will do our best as staff to make the transition of services to the city of Evanston as the month concludes and the township is dissolved,” he said.

During her assessor report, Wilson addressed the aldermen and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl with an overview of the work she has done as assessor, including handling permits, updating and correcting information, informing the taxpayers and modifying staffing. Wilson also spoke of her initial promise to be an advocate for Evanston taxpayers when she took office more than four years ago.

Wilson said her staff has saved taxpayers’ money, getting them the exemptions to which they were entitled. Wilson noted that she hoped the ease and availability that went with her office will continue as the township’s responsibilities transition to city management. Wilson praised her deputy assessor Mitzi Gibbs, whom she recommended the city hire after the dissolution as an advocate for the taxpayers.

After Wilson spoke, Tisdahl presented her with a bouquet, prompting the aldermen in attendance and a number of other attendees to stand and clap.

Township officials also reviewed reports from the supervisor and clerk at the meeting, held at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center.

Several residents also spoke at the meeting, including community activist Betty Ester and Gibbs’ mother Madelyn Ducre. 

Ester reiterated concerns she has about the appointment of Bobkiewicz as township supervisor. At a meeting she held last week outside the City Council chambers, she also expressed concerns about Bobkiewicz’s appointment as township supervisor, saying the matter was handled illegally. Ester said she intends to hold city officials accountable for the promises they make as they transition township services to city management.

Ducre, who also spoke during citizen comment, said she has been to the Cook County commissioner Larry Suffredin’s office multiple times, but the help she received was not comparable to that provided at Wilson’s office, saying Wilson’s office was more “personable.” Suffredin represents the 13th district, which includes Evanston. 

“We are going to miss that,” Ducre said. “(Bobkiewicz) made a promise to us about the assessor office. … There was a promise that someone would be there full time, part time, whatever, to help the people of Evanston.”

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