Evanston Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard has resigned his position effective Friday, Oct. 18, according to city manager Wally Bobkiewicz.
Gaspard, who was elected in May 2013, announced his resignation in a letter sent Thursday to Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and City Clerk Rodney Greene.
“The job of township supervisor requires more time than I anticipated,” he wrote in the letter. “Because of the time commitments, I regret to tell you that I can no longer serve.”
The letter did not contain any other information except for Gaspard’s announcement that he would resign as of Friday, Oct. 18.
Reached Friday morning, Gaspard said he was still preparing a statement for the media and declined to comment further on his resignation.
Members of the township board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, to discuss appointing another township supervisor, according to Bobkiewicz.
Gaspard's proposed township budget recently came under fire from members of the human services committee at a meeting in August. The committee, which oversees the township budget, ultimately decided to hold the budget in committee rather than recommend it for vote by city council.
"I think the budget needs to go back and be completely gutted," Ald. Coleen Burrus (9th ward) told Gaspard at the meeting in August. "There is no way I could vote for anything on this."
In particular, Burrus criticized Gaspard's proposal to hire more caseworkers for the township, and said he should be partnering with local nonprofits instead to save money on services.
Gaspard, however, said at the meeting that he wanted the township office to work more directly with clients.
"I would like the township to be a resource center for clients," he told committee members.
Aldermen Judy Fiske (1st ward), Peter Braithwaite (2nd ward), Delores Holmes (5th ward) and Mark Tendam (6th ward), also criticized the budget.
Holmes said she had met twice with Gaspard before the human services committee meeting to suggest changes to the budget, which she described as "embarrassing."
"If we have questions, everybody else is going to have questions about this budget, because it does not make sense" she said.
Gaspard pledged to go over the budget and meet with his staff in the coming months.
Meanwhile, city council members are also considering a binding referendum that would ask voters whether or not they wanted to abolish the office of Evanston Township. The text of the referendum appeared on Monday’s city council meeting agenda, but aldermen decided to hold that discussion until their next meeting.
In order to put the referendum on the next ballot, aldermen
must approve the text before early January 2014, according to city attorney
- Video of human services committee meeting, 8/5/13
- Evanston Roundtable story on Gaspard's August budget presentation
Editor's note: This story was updated to include more information on Friday afternoon.