Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss says he plans to name Evanston’s new 2nd Ward council member by Friday, in time for the person chosen to be seated at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Speaking at a forum for the seven remaining candidates seeking the job Tuesday evening, Biss said that would give him time to meet with each of the candidates before actually reaching his decision.
Twelve people initially applied to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ald. Peter Braithwaite.
Biss said one of those candidates didn’t respond contact efforts by email or phone and two more candidates immediately withdrew.
That cut the field to nine by the time names of the candidates were publicly announced.
Two of those, Mindy Scott and Jesus Vega, had also withdrawn before Tuesday evening’s forum, leaving what Biss called “a strong, impressive field.”
Asked by the mayor how they plan to approach issues of public safety, crime and policing,
Keith Banks said he favored a two-pronged approach of increasing police staffing and providing a variety of community services to reduce the problems that lead to violence.
Darlene Cannon said the city should increase police presence in neighborhoods immediately.
Blanca Lule said police now are working 12 hour shifts and until the police force is built back up, “there’s very little we can do to address” crime issues in the community.
Anya Tanyavutti, who as a District 65 School Board member voted to remove police from the schools, said marginalized people would feel safer if the city addressed their needs with other means besides resorting to police.
Asked about housing issues, Kristian Harris said “people have to be paid living wages” to afford housing.
Patricia Gregory said the city should adjust its zoning code to promote more affordable housing.
Matthew Farrauto said he would support zoning changes and incentives to produce more affordable housing