Current Township assessor Bonnie Wilson will continue as assessor despite her decision last spring not to run for that office. The Evanston Township Board of Trustees (composed of the members of City Council) appointed Ms. Wilson to complete the term of Assessor-elect Sharon Eckersall, who died unexpectedly in September.
A Township Assessor’s term begins Jan. 1, unlike the terms of aldermen, city clerk and township supervisor. Ms. Eckersall, though elected in April, would not have taken office until Jan. 1.
Illinois law requires the assessor in a City of Evanston’s size to have a current Certified Illinois Assessing Officer certificate, another certificate from one of four certifying associations, and continuing-education hours required by such an association. Town/City Clerk Rodney Greene asked for Ms. Wilson’s credentials before calling a vote on the appointment. Ms. Wilson carried paperwork to prove that she met the qualifications of a Township Assessor to Clerk Green.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asked, “If the Township is dissolved, what are the obligations of the Township to [the assessor’s] position? Will we have to pay her i///f the Township is dissolved?”
After discussing the matter for several minutes, the Township Board rejected an amended appointment lasting only until the March election, when they appeared satisfied that the position would no longer exist, and therefore no salary would be due, should the Township government be dissolved.
Evanston residents will determine the fate of the Township as a governing entity by referendum appearing on the March electoral ballot. If the Township is dissolved, its functions will largely fold into existing City operations. According to a memo from City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz answering questions posed by the League of Women Voters, the assessor’s functions will be provided by the City’s Administrative Services department.