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The City of Evanston’s annual budget process for fiscal year 2014 is already underway, and City staff will be seeking input from residents personally and via social media. “Just because our budget is stabilizing doesn’t mean our outreach is slowing down,” said Assistant City Manager and City Treasurer Martin Lyons in announcing the schedule for budget meetings over the next several weeks.

Next week, members of the City staff will solicit input on the budget process from residents by engaging them on their own turf –for the most part in coffee shops.

Those who do not meet staff members face to face may submit ideas about next year’s budget online to  www.engageevanston.org, by mail to City Manager’s Office, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, by email to budgetinquiries@cityofevanston.org, by telephone at 311, on Facebook or on Twitter. Residents can also share their ideas at the outreach locations listed below or at the Citizen Budget Input Session, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St.

City staff will be on hand to discuss residents’ budget ideas in-person at the following locations/dates/times:

Sept.14, 9-11 a.m., Brothers K Coffee, 500 Main St.

Sept. 16, 10 a.m. – noon, Linz and Vail, 2012 Central St.

Sept. 17, 1-3 p.m., Unicorn Café, 1723 Sherman Ave.

Sept. 18, 1-3 pm., Coffee Lab, 922 Noyes St.

Sept. 19, 4-6 p.m., Perla Café, 1813 Dempster St.

Sept. 20, 8-10 a.m., McDonald’s, 1117 Howard St.

Also on Sept. 19, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz will hold a virtual town hall meeting on the budget; residents may submit questions in advance in any manner mentioned above during the meeting via Facebook.

Mr. Bobkiewicz plans to present the budget to City Council on Oct. 11. A budget discussion by the Council is scheduled for Oct. 21. On the following Saturday, Oct. 26, there will be a bus tour of potential sites for capital improvement topics. A goal-setting session is scheduled for the Council on Nov. 4. The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Nov. 11, and the plan is for Council to adopt the budget on Nov. 18.

Details about these meetings will be posted on evanstonroundtable.com as they are received. Information may also be found on the City’s website, cityofevanston.org.

By law, the City must pass a balanced budget before Jan. 1, 2014, the beginning of the next fiscal year.