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Tom Suffredin, in a file photo from November 2019.

Evanston Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) urged residents Monday night to challenge snow emergency parking tickets they may have received over the weekend.

Suffredin’s comments came during an online meeting of the Central Street Neighbors Association.

He was responding to a question posed by Sigrid Pilgrim, who said her family usually parks their two cars off the street — but, because they had guests coming to visit, they put one car on the street late in the afternoon Saturday after it appeared plows had come by.

The next morning she found a $60 ticket on the car.

The city’s snow parking regulations bar parking on alternate sides of most residential streets from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on days when a snow emergency has been declared — regardless of whether it appears plows have already cleared the street.

Suffredin said the city has the ability to track where plows have been and once they’ve gone through “any ticket written after that should be voided.”

“Fight the ticket,” Suffredin added. “Everybody everybody I’ve talked to today, I’ve said that.”

During the meeting Suffredin also indicated he is skeptical about a potential ordinance being developed by city staff that would restrict the right of residents to take down trees on their own property.

He said that while he appreciates the environmental benefits of trees, such regulation could easily lead to governmental overreach.

After all, he added, the people who are seeking this would be the same people who sought to regulate parkway plantings.

“We need to be very careful about letting staff get involved in people’s private lives,” he said. “I don’t hear a lot of people saying they want the city ‘to get more involved in my stuff.'”

Questioned by CSNA President Jeff Smith, Suffredin said he is open to discussing a possible relocation of city offices to a downtown site but that the decision needs to be made in an open, transparent, deliberate process.

He also said he believes its “worth discussing” the possibility of converting the job of council member to a full time position, but that he doesn’t believe efforts by Ald. Devon Reid (8th) to increase aldermanic compensation now would be legal.

The current pay rate, Suffredin said, does limit the number of people who are able to even consider taking on the job.

He suggested that discussion should wait until the aldermanic compensation committee convenes before the next City Council election in 2025.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree. I should also be able to challenge a ticket for running a stop sign if I did not see any other car at the intersection. How about going over the speed limit if no one is ahead of me. Tom Suffredin seems to be encouraging anarchy. Perhaps he should do what Tom did when he ran into a law that is quite clear, use his position to advocate to change the law. You would think that would be a better idea than tell people to take time away to go to a hearing along with saving the police/ticketing traffic officer’s time.

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