Earlier this week, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz sent a memo to all department directors requesting them to reduce expenditures for fiscal year 2016 by 2% and submit them to Ashley King, the City’s budget manager, by Aug. 4.

Without a State budget in place and no progress on that front, Mr. Bobkiewicz’s memo said, “There are multiple possibilities in which Evanston would lose state funding.” He said the City’s budget staff had followed the direction of City Council “to develop a package of budget changes that would equal $500,000 and $1,500,000.”

The memo said the staff’s initial analysis identified several changes “for further development and costing:” furlough days in 2016; elimination/reduction of the annual sick payouts; elimination of cell phone stipends; additional fees on internet use; increased parking citation fines; increased building permit fees, yard waste fees and ambulance fees; implementation of a used car sales tax and an increase in the cigarette task.

“Members of the City’s budget staff are meeting with employee bargaining units concerning furlough days next year. Mr. Bobkiewicz’s memo said that he plans to recommend to City Council at its July 27 meeting that Sept. 4 be a furlough day, and that a decision on a Dec. 31 furlough day “will be made later.”

The upcoming budget and proposed reductions will be on the agenda for the Aug. 17 and Aug. 31 City Council meetings. Mr. Bobkiewicz said he plans to submit the proposed budget to the City Council in mid-October.

“Again, we are working to be prepared for the worst outcomes,” his memo concluded.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...