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home : city news : city news May 25, 2016

3/26/2014 3:42:00 PM
Validity of Township Meeting Questioned
By Larry Gavin

At a special Township meeting called by the “electors” of Evanston Township on March 25, the electors – about 15 to 20 residents of Evanston Township – elected Betty Ester as Township Supervisor.

Notice of the meeting was emailed by Clerk Rodney Green on March 13, five days before the March 18 primary election in which a referendum was on the ballot to discontinue and abolish Evanston Township.  One agenda item for the March 25 Township meeting was: “Discussion of Where do we go from here? (If the Referendum Fails).” Electing a Township Supervisor was not listed on the agenda.

In the election on March 18, voters approved a referendum question: “Shall the township organization be discontinued and abolished in Evanston?” In the election, 63% of the voters supported dissolving the Township. 

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, who was appointed Township Supervisor by the Township Trustees, told the RoundTable, that the election of Ms. Ester “has no meaning and has no value” for a number of reasons, including: that notice of the meeting did not give notice that a Township Supervisor would be elected; that any discussion of “where do we go from here” was premised on the referendum failing, and the meeting was not germane to an issue over which the electors had authority to act under Illinois law; and  that the position of Township Supervisor can only be filled by a general election  or by the Township Trustees in case of a vacancy.

Mr. Bobkiewicz told the RoundTable that as soon as the Cook County Clerk certified the election, the Township would be dissolved. To give certainty to a date, he said he plans to recommend to City Council that the dissolution be regarded as effective on April 30 and that the City take over the Township’s functions on May 1.

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