Join us for live coverage of this evening’s Evanston mayoral candidates forum at the Evanston Public Library, sponsored by the Downtown Residents Association.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Forum comments
    I would challenge two comments made by Opdycke:

    “Says if the 49 story building initially proposed had been built it would have generated $3 million in tax revenue annually, versus $250,000 per year for the existing building.”

    “Opdycke challenges Lindwall comment that city leaders haven’t been listening to the citizens.”

    For the first, he ignores the time element. That $3 million won’t be readily available until the TIF runs out in 2019. In the meantime, assuming tear down, building, sales, time for reassessing and collecting taxes, all will reduce tax revenue, since only the land will generate tax revenue. The permit fees will not cover that loss. We need the money now. Recall that we have a $145+ million pension obligation that grows with time.

    For the second comment all one needs to reflect on is the Council’s attempts to ignore over 80% of the voters stating that they want the City to remain in the current Civic Center. The latest of which is the “shovel ready” request for stimulus funds. When challenged, the response was that the only standing Council resolution was to build a new Civic Center. Duh?

    1. Tower Tax Revenue
      Mr. Brugliera: I tried to make the point, albeit not very artfully, that a tall building on the 708 Church site would generate considerably more property tax revenue than the present building. I was taking a long view to be sure, and as you suggest, I ignored short term delays and the usual impediments to construction.

      As to your second comment. It was not my intention to defend the actions of the Council when they decided to build a new civic center in the face of overwhelming public opposition. Rather, I was speaking only for myself; my observations and experience as a member of the Plan Commission. My obligation as I see it is to exercise judgment that is derived from a number of sources. Public opinion is just one of those sources.

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