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Edward Tivador is challenging Judy Fiske for the position of First Ward alderman. In response to a RoundTable questionnaire, he outlined his positions on Ward issues, downtown development, the potential return of the Tower, the role of the Plan Commission and the lakefront. Responses to these same questions by incumbent Judy Fiske appeared in the Feb. 28 edition of the RoundTable.
Ward Issues: “Promoting the highest quality of life for all of our residents through a focus on safety and security coupled with balanced and strategic economic growth are the two major issues facing our Ward,” Mr. Tivador says.
Addressing safety and security is important “in order for Evanston to grow as a world-class community,” Mr. Tivador says. These can be addressed, he says, through good “communication and solid collaboration,” including regular meetings with residents and other aldermen.
Mr. Tivador says he plans to work “with residents, schools and other institutions to create programs for skill development and job training … local businesses and institutions to develop work study programs and internships and with our police and fire departments to ensure they have adequate training and resources to do their jobs.” Forging a partnership between Northwestern University and the surrounding residents will help improve safety, he says. He says he plans to meet regularly with residents.
The second issue is “to establish balanced and strategic economic growth,” he says. Zoning and preservation should be one lens with which to look at economic growth.
He says, “I will work with City staff to implement an economic development plan that is respectful and sensitive to neighborhoods with a focus on retaining existing businesses and attracting new ones. I will ensure that we respect the value of our natural resources when making decisions about new development.”
He says he will review tax-increment financing (TIF) districts and will “work to develop policies that are consistent and fair to all businesses” and will work with legislators to leverage state and federal funds for Evanston.
Plan Commission: Responding to a RoundTable question about the importance of the City’s Plan Commission, Mr. Tivador says, “I believe that the Plan Commission plays a very important advisory role for the City Council.”
He says the Plan Commission can provide direction but also that its role and responsibilities should be “well defined and understood. … The Plan Commission, along with the many other committees and commissions within our City, are valuable, creditable and strong.”
As to the proposed 38-story mixed-used tower proposed for 708 Church St., Mr. Tivador says, “I would like to go on record as having publicly and adamantly opposed the Tower on Church Street from the very beginning. I will continue to be in opposition of this project for a variety of reasons: The structure in its proposed form is physically far too imposing for Evanston, and I do not believe that its design is complementary to our downtown area. Beyond the physical negatives of this proposed structure, I am concerned that if the project were to move forward our downtown infrastructure is not equipped for the resulting density.
“While this plan appears to be economically dead, it is important to understand that it is technically still alive through the spring of 2014.”
If elected, he says, “I will work closely with the other aldermen and the Mayor to find a way to eliminate this project in its current form.”
Lakefront protection: Mr. Tivador says the lakefront “should be enjoyed by all Evanstonians” but adds, “We must continue to be mindful and respectful of the residents around the lakefront” and collaborate with them in decision-making about lakefront activities. “I support an open-minded approach to these activities as long as they are done through a process of careful consideration on the overall impact to Lake Michigan and the lakefront area. We should not dismiss that, if administered prudently, such activities could serve as possible revenue sources for our City,” he says.