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What Do You Think? Evanston Budget Items

Tell us what you think should be included and not included as revenue-raising measures.

Monday night, the Evanston city council for the 2012 budget that will raise some parking meters to $1 an hour and raises fees for most parking violations by $5.

Voting against the parking meter measure, Ald. Judy Fiske (1st Ward) said it would hurt downtown business, since it could drive shoppers away to other areas.

Fiske said the retail stores downtown have been having a rough time already and noted that more may be closing soon. She suggested getting input from business owners before moving forward with the measure.

Patch commenters seemed to agree:

"I can park and shop downtown Wilmette just across the border and not have to worry about parking" -

The City of Evanston continues to be not Friendly to Businesses. They prefer Evanston residents shop else where and leave or the empty stores vacant. Drive around town you find a new one almost daily -

 

Other items have been proposed to raise or save money, such as outsourcing crossing guards, eliminating positions, and furlough days for city workers.

What do you think about the increase and other proposed measures? Tell us what you'd cut or increase in the comments.

victoria smith November 16, 2011 at 01:01 PM
More money in the meters? When is Evanston going to take a look around to see how many empty retail spaces are empty? Out sourcing the crossing guards? That would cut what little money they make, and most of them are 65 and older and use tht money to help supplement their little income they get form S.S.. I am not real sure where to cut, but all of this is getting way out of hand! I really wish that we had some department stores here like we did 30 years ago and for those that don't remember, parking meters took only pennies!
J C November 16, 2011 at 02:27 PM
How about cutting city officials salaries and benefits ?
Jim November 16, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Without the DETAIL in the city budget it is difficult to make an informed statement about what could and should be cut but as the table below shows the city Manager's office is budgeting for a $200,000 increase in 2012. Where is the detail? How much does the city manager make? Why the huge increase? If there is that kind of increase in the city manager's office what else is there? I will go over the budget and try to make other suggestions.
Jim November 16, 2011 at 03:54 PM
$131,000 per year for city council health insurance? Is that for staff or for members? If for members, most have other jobs and are part time council members. How many have Medicare coverage. Any member who has another job or business should pay their own health care premiums. Maybe change the status of city council members to independent contractor. Who tells them what to do, the city or their constituents? Wait, don't answer that.
Clif Brown November 16, 2011 at 05:38 PM
I ride a bike and recommend others do the same. It makes parking meter rates moot.
Jim November 16, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Be careful Clif, if they find out uou are riding a bike, they will find a way to "enhance" their revenue from bike riding.
Matt November 16, 2011 at 07:22 PM
how about irresponsible property owners get fined for not shoveling their walks in the winter? that would generate some revenue in addtion to making the community a better place
Jim November 17, 2011 at 02:48 PM
The budget projects an increase of 25 new ordinances in 2012 compared to last year. Ehat for? Each of these will cost money to research, write and implement. THere should be 25 fewer ordinances. Any good ordinance will result in fewer regulations and cost, not more. Of course that detail is missing in the budget. Apparently our city council thinks that all problems can be solved by passing another ordinance. That is like saying that all food should be fried.
Jim Osburn November 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Jim, have you thought of running for office? With your attitude you would go crazy but would improve society tremendously. Also, how about a "wheel tax" on bicycles, now that they have their own lanes and amenities they should contribute to the general upkeep of streets--pay their own way.
Jim November 18, 2011 at 02:24 AM
To Jim Osburn: Yes, but every time I got close to doing it I became nauseated and now I am too old. I regret that I didn't follow through. My father always told me when I was a young man that one does not have to preach from a soapbox to do good but rather always say yes to the myriad of individuasl who will cross your path and ask for help and never ask for anything in return. We need leaders who can transcend their human nature in that way, not deny it but rise above it. I greatly appreciate your comment. Perhaps I am just cowardly.
jim November 18, 2011 at 02:36 PM
ANYONE SEE THIS ONE: At an earlier meeting, the council voted to increase the cost by $4 and $1 for both large and small refuse collection carts. At the next meeting, aldermen added condominium refuse collection carts to the mix, voting to increase that fee to $7.95 – thus matching the cost of small refuse collection carts. Rainey vehemently opposed the increase, saying condominium associations in Evanston are struggling. “I hope we think about what we’re doing,” she said. “What we’re doing is passing some very regressive taxes. We’re relieving the privileged children who ice skate, but we’re tacking on a big ol’ tax for garbage collection, and there’s just something that doesn’t sit right with me on that.” ITS OKAY TO INCREASE HOMEOWNER BUT NOT CONDO. MOST CONDO BUILDINGS DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TRASH BINS. JUST WALK ANY ALLEY BEHIND CONDO BUILDING AND THERES USUALLY TRASH LAYING IN ALLY. BESIDES THE COCDO BIN CHARGES ARE SPLIT AMONG EACH CONDO OWNER IN HIS FEE. THAT THAT AMOUNT IS QUITE SMALL COMPARED TO HOMEOWNER
Jim November 18, 2011 at 04:06 PM
This is PURE revenue "enhancement" since there is no additional cost to the city. As I have said before, the way the city is going, no one will be able to afford living here and there will be no tax base to tax. The city officials will say "oops" and move to another venue, get elected there and tax it into oblivion. They just aren't very creative managers and don't get it.
Matt November 18, 2011 at 04:32 PM
Keep in mind that the city may have seen an increase in charges from Groot or Veolia for refuse pickup, which means the cost needs to be offset to the consumer. Until you know the status of the contract/fees, don't just blame the city....
Jim November 18, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Matt, The city solid waste uses a private hauler for commercial and condo waste. Otherwise it uses it's own streets and san department. If you look on page 166 of the proposed 2012 budget (PDF on line) you will see that the streets and san budget has been moved into a sepaate fund account for more accurate accounting and that it is underfunded bu about $400,00 which probably explains the increase in fees. This probably represents an attempt to fund various city functions with revenue more closely related to each function rather than from a general fund. Nevertheless, my point being that city management has not been good although it does look like they are trying to br more honest about it from a fiscal and accounting point of view.
jim November 18, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Your correct JIm. But if they are going raise home owners garbage collection then they should include the Condo Owners also.
DeVincentis November 30, 2011 at 09:09 PM
I read with interest the 100 great suggestions from citizens. I also read with disgust the 10 suggestions which were deemed the best; NOT ONE was a revenue generator. All 10 would cost Evanston more money. I guess a single revenue generator was just too much to hope for. Hey, there's always more of that free tax money, isn't there.
mij November 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM
Not only do none of they items generate revenue to pay for doing it. One is a revenue loss since we now pay to use beaches and they want them free.
fishman December 01, 2011 at 09:51 AM
As an Evanston small business owner, I just want to thank Alderman Fiske for standing up for us. The last Alderman in Evanston to do so ruined is own political career (and he predicted our current financial woes). Alderman Fiske knows what it is like to be a small business owner in Evanston and I hope everyone who supports small businesses will shop in her store (Fit and Frisky on Davis) for the Holidays (even if you don't have a pet). Thank you, Alderman Fiske for watching out for the little guy!

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