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October 17, 2017

3/12/2014 4:01:00 PM
Room for a View: No!
By Peggy Tarr

March is Women’s History Month, a time to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions women have made and continue to make.

But because of the March 18 election (and early voting), in this article I will focus on the referendum to dissolve the Township rather than on women. 

It has always amazed me that members of the Evanston City Council were also the Township Board of Trustees.  The neutrality of the Council members when donning the caps of the Township Board of Trustees has always been a question mark in my mind as well as in the minds of others.

At the Feb. 19 debate about the dissolution of the Township – held at Haven Middle School and sponsored by the Central Street Neighbors Association, “Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin spoke in support of abolishing the Township…” (Bailey Williams, Daily Northwestern, February 20, 2014)  However, at the end of the discussion, Mr. Suffredin allegedly said, “… If you don’t believe the City is doing a good job, you should vote against it [the referendum].”   Well, I’ll certainly vote “No.” 

Have Evanston residents paid attention to indicators that the City of Evanston doesn’t always function well?  The City’s huge pension fund shortage strongly suggests City mismanagement. 

Residents should check out the third floor of the Main Evanston Library and note the empty shelves where magazines used to be. 

I suggested to our City Manager at a meeting a couple of years ago that the City reduce library costs by having residents subscribe to magazines and donate them to the Library.  My suggestion was not even acknowledged.  Also check out the area in the Main Library where dictionaries and encyclopedias used to be.  One Library staff person told me the reference books had been tossed, but another staffer said they were in storage. 

I was told that computers would supplant the books.  Really?  And what about the City’s removing office personnel and security from the Noyes Cultural Art Center?

There have been efforts to get churches to inform church members about the referendum without success.  Church leaders said that their churches did not want to get involved in politics.  Thank goodness the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not share this don’t-get-involved attitude.  And Pope Francis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Father Pfleger, Rev. Al Sharpton, Minister Farrakhan, former Lake Street Church of Evanston Pastor Robert Thompson (and the late Rev. John Norwood and Rev. Dr. Hycel Taylor) – to name a few, also don’t (didn’t) share this “don’t-get-involved” attitude.  Do (did) they not consider themselves to be their brothers’ keepers?

The Township is charged with helping those in need. 

I dare say that none of the members of the City Council (aka Township Board of Trustees) are candidates for Township assistance, nor do I believe they consider themselves to be their brothers’ keepers. 

Vote NO on dissolving the Township.

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