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The 15 speakers and some 70 observers who attended the City Council meeting on Feb. 8 were disappointed if they thought Council was going to vote on agenda item A-5, Resolution 13-R-10, the City’s 2010-11 budget. That item, along with a companion ordinance changing the fees for refuse and yard-waste collections, has been postponed to a special City Council meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 20 in Council chambers.

Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, who has many close ties to Haiti, has traveled there in the wake of last month’s devastating earthquake.

“Let’s make it clear,” said Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, “He is not on vacation. He is in Haiti, which is where he should be.” Accommodating a request from Ald. Jean-Baptiste to wait until he returned to Evanston to discuss the budget, the other eight aldermen agreed upon the time and place of the special meeting.

By law, the City must approve a balanced budget by March 1, the beginning of the City’s new fiscal year. The last regularly scheduled City Council meeting is Feb. 22, so setting the budget vote at that late a date could put the Council in a time bind should Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl veto the budget – something she has indicated she is not likely to do.