Incumbent aldermen in three wards are facing challengers; two people are vying to be Township Supervisor; the four vacancies on the School District 65 Board will be filled by the four candidates for those positions. It is the Board of Education of School District 202, which oversees Evanston Township High School, that is the most heatedly contested race.
In the First Ward, incumbent Judy Fiske faces a challenge from Ed Tivador, an Evanston resident who is superintendent of the Northbrook schools. Both appear to agree on the major issues facing the ward: development of the lakefront, public safety and the proposed 38-story residential towers approved more than two years ago by City Council. Voters will likely find distinctions between the two in their approaches and their personalities, since the candidates appear to agree on those issues: Lakefront development should be limited; people should be safe and feel safe downtown; and neither supports the tower.
In the Fifth Ward, long-time resident Carlis Sutton has mounted a write-in campaign against incumbent Delores Holmes. On the issue of safety and crime, both agree that public safety requires community effort in addition to police involvement. One major difference seems to be the low-income housing being created or rehabbed in the Fifth Ward. Ald. Holmes has been in support of the measure – the source of which is a federal grant to stabilize parts of the Fifth and Eighth wards after the sweep of foreclosures and abandonments several years ago. Mr. Sutton has been particularly outspoken against the new development between Emerson and Foster streets because, he says, additional low-income rental housing will hurt many Fifth Ward landlords.
Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Tendam again faces Mark Sloane in the aldermanic race (four years ago, four candidates ran for the position vacated by Eb Moran). Mr. Sloane points to his financial expertise, both as been the former CFO of a Chicago company and a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on pensions, and to his service on the City’s Recreation Board. He says he would be responsive to constituents’ needs and problems. Ald. Tendam points to his ability to build consensus and to work behind the scenes to solve problems and come up with creative resolutions to thorny issues. Within the ward, he notes the improvements of Central Street and his handling of the proposed Chase Bank drive-through and the proposed McDonalds’ drive through in northwest Evanston.
Patricia Vance decided not to seek re-election as Township Supervisor, and two candidates – Keith Banks and Gary Gaspard – are running for the position. Mr. Banks says he sees the Governmental Assistance (GA) program as the backbone of the Township. Mr. Gaspard has said he would consider expanding Township services. The future of the Township itself holds some uncertainty, since a majority of City Council members favor abolishing the Township. Evanston’s aldermen sit as Evanston Township trustees, since the City and the Township borders are coterminous. In a recent advisory referendum, nearly three-fourths of the voters said they favored abolishing the Township. The legal path to abolishing a Township is uncertain.
Profiles of the four candidates in the uncontested School District 65 election begin on page 10. The story that begins on the bottom of page 1 describes a recent forum attended by all eight District 202 candidates, and the RoundTable editorial on page 6 weighs in on some of the issues in that election.
The RoundTable’s Election Section (evanstonroundtable.com/elections) has voting information, candidates’ profiles and their answers to RoundTable questions, letters in support of candidates and other information.
Early voting at the Civic Center began this week and continues through April 6; hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday. Polls are open 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. on April 9. Polling places for some precincts in the Second, Fourth and Sixth Wards have changed.