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Township Supervisor Gary Gaspard submitted his resignation on Oct. 17, effective Oct. 18. In a short letter to Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and City/Township Clerk Rodney Greene, Mr. Gaspard said the job “requires more time than I anticipated. Because of the time commitments, I regret to tell you I can no longer serve.”
“I am going to prepare something for the media, but I’m not ready for that yet… I don’t want to embarrass anyone,” Mr. Gaspard told the RoundTable.
All 10 City Council members serve as trustees of the township, which is coterminous with the City of Evanston but has a separate government.
Asked by the RoundTable if he would comment, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said, “Nope.” Shortly thereafter, however, he sent an email to those on the City’s email list announcing the resignation.
Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson also declined to comment, saying, “not at this time.” Several alderman also told the RoundTable they felt the development was too new for comment.
Over the past several months, tensions have been rising from almost every direction. The Council and Supervisor Gaspard did battle over the budget at nearly every meeting. A recent Township bill for over $17,000 for a classified ad seeking applicants for a $25,000/year position that was not in the Township budget appeared to push things over the edge. Mr. Gaspard fired one of his employees over the incident on Oct. 17. There is no word yet as to whether that individual will return to work since Mr. Gaspard’s resignation.
The Township trustees have scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21. Mr. Bobkiewicz said the meeting has been called “to discuss the appointment of a Township Supervisor.” They may also consider appointing a new Township assessor; Sharon Eckersall, who was elected to that position and was to have been sworn in on Jan. 1, 2014, died a few weeks ago.
The Township government will continue to operate until its fate is decided in the spring election. City officials are in the process of preparing for the ballot a binding referendum question asking whether to abolish the Township government.