Published on July 23, 2014
1 March 20, 2012 General Election Ballot Advisory Referendum on Possible Evanston Township Dissolution
2 2 Presentation Overview 1. Township Overview and Services 2. Background of Township Deliberations 3. What does the ballot question state and mean? 4. Possibilities – What could service look like if the Township Dissolves?
3 3 Illinois Election Code on Questions of Public Policy For education purposes only “No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated for political or campaign purposes to any candidate or political organization.” (10 ILCS 5/9-25.1)
4 4 Illinois Election Code on Questions of Public Policy Continued “This Section shall not prohibit the use of public funds for dissemination of factual information relative to any proposition appearing on an election ballot, or for dissemination of information and arguments published and distributed under law in connection with a proposition to amend the Constitution of the State of Illinois.” (10 ILCS 5/9-25.1(b))
5 5 What is a Township? A Township is a unit of local government governed by the Township Board, with the Township Supervisor serving as the Executive Illinois Townships are charged with three basic functions through the Illinois Township Code (60 ILCS 1/et seq): 1) general assistance for those in need; 2) the assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation; and 3) maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state and other local jurisdiction
6 Evanston Township Continued The Township provides General Assistance to certain financially disadvantaged residents as well as Emergency Assistance. In Evanston and all of Cook County, the appraising and valuing of real property is handled by the Cook County Assessor. The Cook County Assessor's Office is responsible for setting fair and accurate values for 1.8 million parcels of Cook County property. The maintenance of all roads and bridges within City limits are handled either by the City of Evanston or the State of Illinois Department of Transportation. Evanston Township maintains no roads.
7 7 What is a Coterminous Township? Evanston Township borders are identical to its respective municipality the City of Evanston. The Township Board and City Council are the same officials. There are over 1400 townships in the State of Illinois and the Evanston Township is one of only 20 coterminous townships. Other coterminous townships in Cook County include Oak Park, Cicero, River Forest and Berwyn.
8 8 Evanston Property Tax Bill
9 9 Evanston Township Budget 2011-2012 Client Payments $546,041.00 Payroll $270,657.00 GA Administrative Overhead $276,210.00 Work Opportunities Program (WOP) $9,000.00 Medical Payments Systems (MPS) $54,750.00 Emergency Assistance Services (EAS) $38,500.00 Subtotal $1,195,158.00 Additional town Fund Items $105,178.00 Total $1,300,336.00
10 10 Evanston Township Assessor Proposed 2011-2012 Budget Description Proposed 2011-2012 Salaries $94,000 Tax $8,300 IMRF $1,000 Insurance $6,400 Administrative Costs $13,410 Phone and Utilities $5,525 Rent $16,679 Misc. Expenses $3,250 Total $148,564
11 11 Total Evanston Township Budget 2011-2012 Township $1,300,336 Township Assessor $148,684 Total $1,449,020
12 12 General Assistance General Assistance is mandated by the state and is provided by the Township of Evanston. (305 ILCS 5/Art. 6) The General Assistance Program in the township of Evanston is a locally administered program which provides financial assistance to single adults who are not eligible for any other local, state, or federal assistance program, and who do not have income or resources to provide for basic needs.
13 13 General Assistance Continued • Up to $400.00 per month to persons not eligible for any other assistance program. • According to the November 2011 Report for Evanston Township General Assistance GAAS Client Information the Township had 86 active cases.
14 14 Emergency Assistance Emergency Assistance is not mandated by state law, but currently administered by the Township. The Emergency Assistance Services provide short term financial assistance to Evanston residents who are facing an immediate crises in the areas of food, housing and utilities.
15 15 Emergency Assistance Continued Food Emergency Assistance Services provides financial food assistance to individuals and families whose basic life needs may be threatened due to uncontrolled circumstances. Housing One-time payment for one month’s rent, mortgage or assessment fees to prevent foreclosure or eviction. Up to maximum of $1200 and not to exceed one month’s rent, mortgage or assessment fees Delinquent condominium association fees Up to $450.00 as long as it prevents foreclosure
16 16 Emergency Assistance Continued Housing Continued First month’s rent to relocate to new housing due to fire, foreclosure or other unusual circumstance. Utilities One time payment per twelve-month period of gas-heat, electric and/or water service to prevent shut-off or re-establish service. Maximum amount of assistance is limited to $500.00 per twelve-month period
17 17 Township Assessor The Evanston Township Assessor’s office provides Evanston residents property tax payers with a local resource for various property tax related issues. Exemptions, Appeals Process and other Tax Inquiries
18 Town Board Background Information on How and Why Resolution was Placed on Ballot Township Board met numerous time in 2011 to discuss a variety of issues including the interrelated questions of: Township governance and budget, Economies of scale for overhead of various government services, Reallocation of various costs associated with overhead for government services, and Possible dissolution. (Resolution 4T-R-11 pages 4&5)
19 Town Board Background Info Cont. The Board took public comments and testimony on the various and produced legislative findings and an extensive public record. After many deliberations regarding the issues addressed in the previous slide including questions of township governance, budget, overhead, services and dissolution Town Board believed they should get the opinion of residents of Evanston. (4T-R-11 pages 4&5)
20 Town Board Background Info Final “WHEREAS, the Town Board determined that in its adoption of this Resolution and in its exercise of this discretionary act, it is in the best interests of the residents of Evanston Township to have the opportunity to vote upon this public question in order to express their view as to whether coterminous township government in Evanston Township might be dissolved, and whether it approves of the Town Board pursuing that issue.” (4T-R-11 page 5)
21 21 What is an Advisory Referendum? The State of Illinois Election code allows for any governing body of a local unit of government by resolution to authorize an advisory question of public policy to be placed on the ballot. (65 ILCS 5/3.1-40-60) (4T-R-11)
22 22 What does the Ballot Question State? “Should the Evanston Town Board continue to pursue the issue of dissolving Evanston Township?” On December 5, 2011, the Evanston Township Board adopted Resolution 4T-R-11 to include an advisory referendum on the March 20th General Election ballot
23 23 What happens if the Advisory Referendum passes? According to state law no legal effects shall result from the adoption or rejection of such an Advisory proposition (10 ILCS 5/28 6 (c))‑ Township board will consider the results as it moves forward in its deliberations regarding possible Township dissolution
24 24 What happens if the Township were to Dissolve? If the Township were to dissolve, the City of Evanston would continue to provide Evanston residents with all services currently offered by the Township of Evanston as mandated by State law. (60 ILCS 1/et seq.) (305 ILCS 5/et seq.) (35 ILCS 200), The City would exercise all duties and responsibilities of the Township Supervisor and Township Assessor as provided in the Township Code, Public Aid Code and Property Tax Code. (60 ILCS 1/) (305 ILCS 5/) (35 ILCS 200),
25 25 Possible Assessor Model of Service Continue to offer residents with assistance regarding property tax bills, assessment appeals, and general inquiries Based on Chicago, which does not have Township Assessor; Evanston Taxpayer Assistance Window at the Civic Center open during business hours; augmented with additional staff during periods of peak use;
26 26 Possible Assessor Model of Service – Continued Outreach events to residents, with County Commissioner’s office and Cook County Board of Appeals; and Installation of public computers to provide online access to resources for residents and assistance to use online services.
27 27 Possible - General and Emergency Assistance Continue providing direct financial assistance (General Assistance) to Evanston residents who lack resources for basic needs, and do not qualify for any other local, state or federal assistance programs (as mandated by Illinois law).
28 28 Possible - General and Emergency Assistance Continued Continue to offer one-time financial assistance (Emergency Assistance) to eligible residents to ensure housing and food stability or to prevent gas-heat, water or electricity service interruption. Examine the program’s eligibility requirements, levels of assistance and length of time for which people may receive assistance.
29 29 Possible -General and Emergency Assistance Continued Eligibility and application processes provided on website and in-person, outreach to non-profits Eligibility determination and provision of services: o Online access to Illinois Department of Health Services database o Automated Wage Verification System – employment benefits
30 30 Thank You
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