Evanston alders narrowed their draft list of goals from 10 to six and produced brief descriptions for each goal at at special meeting Saturday.
The goal setting process was a response to what Mayor Daniel Biss said has been “a lack of focus” during the first two years of the current council’s four-year term.
The goals are designed to guide the body in allocating time and resources as it heads toward the next election for mayor and all the alders in April 2025.
The goals on the final list are:
- Housing — Expand the supply of safe and affordable housing in every neighborhood of Evanston.
- CARP — Achieve Evanston’s 2025 Climate Action and Resilience Plan goals.
- Economic Development — Invest in and bolster Evanston’s unique identity and culture. Foster growth and stability for existing and new Evanston businesses. Ensure pathways to economic growth for residents.
- Finance — Responsible and sustainable stewardship of city assets.
- Public Safety — Ensure Evanston is safe and welcoming to all. Implement best practices and policies and develop coordinated alternative public safety responses.
- Public Health — Make signficant and measurable progress toward addressing E-plan priorities.
Alders trimmed from the list four other goals that they had identified during their first goal-setting meeting last month.
They decided to reference “Equity” in a preamble to the goal list.
“Goals change,” Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) said, “but putting it [equity] at the top makes it a number one priority that won’t change.”
Also dropped from the original list of 10 were “Community,” “Process and procedures” and “Infrastructure.”
Those got the lowest number of votes when council members were asked to pick their top five choices from the list of 10.
Biss said city staff now would be asked to provide more specifics about what the city might try to accomplish in each of the six areas over the next two years and return to the Council for another session to evaluate those action plans.
The new goal list is designed to replace a list of six goals the Council adopted in 2019. Those included:
- Invest in city infrastructure and facilities.
- Enhance community development and job creation citywide.
- Expand affordable housing options.
- Ensure equity in all city operations.
- Stabilize long-term city finances.
- Implement the city’s climate action and resilience plan.
Diversity and leadership consultant Gilo Kwesi Logan, who led the session, emphasized that just because a topic didn’t make the top priority list doesn’t mean it won’t be considered by the Council over the next two years.
All the council members except Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) were present for Saturday’s session.