Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty ran into a range of opposition Monday night to his nine choices for appointment to the new Citizen Police Review Commission.

The appointments ended up winning approval from aldermen by a bare majority, 5-4 vote, and only after the City Council voted to refer questions about the size of the panel to the Rules Committee for further discussion.

Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, objected to having a large number of residents of the 2nd Ward on the panel. Only one member is from Fleming’s ward.

But Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward said most of the complaints about policing come from wards where there are a lot of black residents — and that the large proportion of residents from the 2nd, 5th and 9th Wards on the panel makes sense.

The commission includes seven Black residents, one Hispanic and one white person.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said he didn’t mind that there isn’t someone who lives in his ward on the panel, although one member has an office in his ward.

He said the group has experience, is multi-generational and diverse and will fairly represent the community.

At least two of the panel members are in their 20s, an unusually young age for anyone to volunteer to be on a city committee.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said she thought having representation from all wards matters, and that she put in four names and none of hers were selected.

More than 90 people, an unusually large number, volunteered to be on the committee and Fiske suggested expanding the size of the group.

But Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said nine “is a very good working number.” A smaller group is likely to have quorum issues, Wynne said, but a larger group “gets a little unwieldy.”

Although there is at least one 5th Ward resident on the panel, Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, complained that no one from the activist group Citizens Network of Protection was chosen.

In the end, Fleming, Fiske, Rue Simmons and Alderman Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward, voted against the appointments.

Related story

Alderman to approve police review panel members (6/20/20)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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