In reading the profiles of the two 6th Ward Aldermanic candidates, it was clear that there is a stark contrast between them. Mr.Sloane is running to replace Ald. Tendam because, he says, “I don’t believe he’s got the skills and the passion to be a strong City Council person.” I don’t know how one measures passion, but in looking at the support Alderman Tendam has among his fellow council members, it is clear to me that he does possess the required and instinctive skills to work with a diverse group of elected officials and community members focusing on the goal of fostering a better Evanston. With respect to passion, Alderman Tendam is not serving us out of obligation or against his will, and from my various forays into the public sector, I know firsthand that you have to have a passion for what you do to succeed.
Mr. Sloane has emphasized his own passion for recreation. Alderman Tendam agrees that strong recreation resources, particularly for children, are vital to the attractiveness of a city, and in looking at the high level of support he has from numerous members of the Parks and Recreation Committee, including the Chairman of the Committee and sixth ward resident, Daniel Stein, I am confident this is an issue he champions. Specifically, I want to applaud Alderman Tendam for his ability to get the currently dormant proposal to convert the recycling center to an athletic facility out of committee and his consistent support of this concept, even against the opposition of some of his colleagues on the council. I look forward to his work on this in a second term.
With respect to economic development and supporting businesses in the Ward, Mr. Sloane has spoken out against the Chase Bank replacing the vacant Citgo station, and has recently sought out a boycott of a local restaurant because they are supporting Alderman Tendam. What Mr. Sloane does not realize is that there are very few options for replacing a former gas station due to the environmental concerns and associated clean-up costs, so a bank or another gas station are a few of the only possible types of replacements, and while he has criticized the bank idea, he has not offered an alternative to the current eyesore on that corner. With respect to his proposed boycott, I fear that this is an indicator for how Mr. Sloane would address future situations where others disagree with him, and it certainly is not a business-supporting mentality.
Alderman Tendam is running for re-election on the basis of his record. Alderman Tendam, by nature, is a “uniter” rather than a divider. Relations between the 6th Ward and the rest of the City are better today than they have been in many, many years. Mark Tendam works with people, not against them. That is what makes him an effective leader. Mark Tendam is a respectful, positive and effective voice for the Ward. On April 9th, let’s re-elect the best man for the 6th Ward—Mark Tendam.