[VIDEO] District 65 school board members this evening voted 4-3 to table the plan to rename Haven School after retiring Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton.

Board member Jerome Summers proposed the delay, suggesting that it would give board members time to discuss with Evanston aldermen the possibility of renaming the city’s Civic Center or another city facility after the mayor.

The city is precluded from naming any of its facilities after a current official, so action by the city would have to wait until after April’s election.

The motion to table derailed a compromise proposal from board member Bonnie Lockhart to rename the building Morton-Haven Middle School.

In addition to Lockhart, board president Mary Erickson and member Keith Terry voted against tabling the measure.

The proposal to rename the school had drawn intense opposition from some Haven parents.

Amy Teschner, a Haven parent, suggested the board could honor the mayor in several different ways — including erecting a statue of her at the school.

But Terri Shepard, whose three children have attended District 65 schools, said the alternative of naming the Civic Center for the mayor would be an insult.

Meeting video courtesy Evanston Community Media Center.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. City Monument for Morton
    Naming the Civic Center after Mayor Morton seems to be a good idea. She probably spent just about as much time in city service as in education. She was always a supporter of restoring the current building. There could be a plaque inside the door profiling her many contributions to the Evanston Community.

    1. Eiffel, Wrigley , Chrysler…and Morton
      Instead of all of this divisive arguing about renaming Haven…here is a better idea…

      If all goes well, one of the last acts of Mayor Morton’s administration will be the final approval of the Tower next week.

      I propose that the new Tower, when constructed, be named the Morton Tower – and then future generations of Evanstonians will always know her name. The Morton Tower – glowing in the nighttime sky – will be a prominent monument visible from Rogers Park to Glencoe.

      Most of all, think of the children. It will send a message to all children, especially the children of Haven, that they can accomplish anything if they put their minds to it.

  2. No Honor Here
    Why is this discussion still on the table? Who are the board members working for? I would hope they would be working to represent the people who elected them… unfortunately and obviously, the personal opinions of FOUR seem to prevail here. The VAST MAJORITY of families in the district have voiced their opinion to leave the Haven name in place.
    Not only is this a HUGE waste of time, it is against the effort and original idea to honor our mayor (imagine how she actually might feel!). Mayor Morton is definitely valued, with a city full of options let’s honor her like mature and grateful citizens. There should be no problem in honoring someone who you truly value.

    1. Let’s Move On!
      My thoughts exactly. What a ridiculous waste of time. Name the library or the civic center after her and be DONE WITH IT. Why is this debate still going on? The naming rights to the junior high at Lincoln and Prairie are already taken! MOVE ON!

      There is simply no good reason to strip the Haven name off the school. The whole point of honorary names is to ensure that the person being named is remembered long after he or she is gone. As long as Old Man Haven hasn’t done anything to disgrace his name, he deserves to have it stay on the building. Seriously, this debate has gotten ridiculous. And Mayor Morton’s refusal to step up and put this debate to rest calls into question the very character deserving of honorary naming rights.

      1. agreed!
        I agree. Mayor Morton could end this silly argument in an instant. But she has been oddly quiet on this matter. Makes me wonder if she is either clueless to the debate or narcissistic enough to actually want the name to be changed in her favor?

        Politicians being what they are, I am fearful of the latter…

        And Ms. Erickson needs to fully understand that public issues are not about forcing her wants and desires upon the public sector she is elected to serve.

        And of that there can be no debate.

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