The Evanston City Council voted 6-3 on Monday evening to allow food pushcarts on the lakefront. The three lakefront aldermen opposed the proposal, but do not be deceived by their “no” votes. It was inaction by these three aldermen, not their votes, that failed to stop the arrival of pushcarts on the lakefront.
Lakefront Aldermen Kelly, Wynne and Revelle, as well as Alderman Nieuwsma (ironically, the past president of Citizens’ Greener Evanston), all had the opportunity to make a motion to refer this measure to committee for further study, which was entirely warranted given how it was rammed through the Council without substantive input from City staff or the public.
But whether due to incompetence or, particularly in Kelly’s case, passive support for Ald. Reid, whose Council votes she routinely mimics, they all sat on their hands as the moment for action passed.
This was a failure of process, a failure of reason and a failure of vision. By allowing pushcarts on the lakefront – and violating the City’s Lakefront Master Plan – the Council has opened the door for further commercialization of the lakefront, and for no reason other than to feed Ald. Reid’s ego and Ald. Nieuwsma’s hunger to have a taco at the beach.