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Housing program hit at forum

7th Ward aldermanic candidate John Zbesko said Tuesday he thinks Evanston needs to reconsider its affordable housing efforts in light of the downturn in the national economy.

Asked at a forum sponsored by the Central Street Neighbors Association to identify a city program they believed is a good, or bad value, most other candidates chose to focus on the positive.

7th Ward candidate Kevin O’Connor criticized spending on executive search firms to hire new city managers. But Jane Grover, a member of the city’s mental health board, praised the city program that distributes $840,000 to mental health groups each year, saying they reach up to 8,000 residents and achieve "good bang for the buck"

Among the 6th Ward candidates, Mark Tendam praised renovations at Lovelace Park. Mark Sloane, a member of the city’s Recreation Board, praised renovations at James Park, saying they’ve made Evanston an attractive place for baseball and soccer teams, even from outside the city, to come and play. Chris Hart praised the citizen-led effort to develop the city’s climate action plan.

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