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Elizabeth Tisdahl today confirmed widespread speculation that she would not run for a third term as mayor of Evanston.

In a message posted to her Twitter account, the mayor said she “loved every minute” of being mayor, but that it was time for her to “try new challenges.”

Tisdahl, 70, was first elected mayor in 2009 after previous service as 7th Ward alderman and a District 202 school board member.

At least two people have been exploring a run for mayor on the assumption Tisdahl would choose to vacate the office. They are Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, and Steve Hagerty, the president of Hagerty Consulting, who chaired a mayor committee that explored what to do with the Harley Clarke mansion.

Neither of them have formally announced a campaign, and they and other prospective candidates have considerable time left to make a decision.

Would-be candidates can’t start circulating petitions to run for office until Sept. 20 and the filing deadline isn’t until Dec. 19.

The mayor with NU President Morton Schapiro at the 2012 State of the City luncheon.

Tisdahl has perhaps been best known for her efforts to improve the city’s relations with Evanston’s largest employer — Northwestern University — notably through a “cookie diplomacy” campaign that started with the appointment of the university’s current president, Morton Schapiro.

She also backed a dramatic expansion of summer youth jobs programs and efforts by city youth workers to get troubled young people onto successful career paths.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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10 Comments

  1. Change is good

    While Tisdahl has been a decent mayor I'd love to see someone with some private sector chops take over. Continue the good ties with NU and demand increased fiscal responsibility. Promote a more business-friendly government with minimal red tape for those who wish to create tax revenue for our city. Do what it takes to responsibly maximize both the enjoyment and potential revenue of our lakefront, perhaps through public/private partnerships?

    1. I’m not a fan of hers, but I wish her well

      I'm not a fan of hers but I certainly wish her well. I think you are right. The new mayor should have a business background. The same goes for the council members. Maybe we'll get more transparency and better business decisions. We'll probably never know for sure but the city does have a record of spending money on some things that are not at the best interest of all taxpayers.

      1. The majority of aldermen ARE business people
        Of the nine aldermen, the majority are business people.

        Fiske, Tendam, Wilson & Revelle all run small businesses. Braithwaite is in corporate sales and Rainey–while now retired–worked in the real estate industry.

        1. What responsibility with the job
          I and I think many would consider ‘business experience’ to include management, managing people, budgeting, setting and meeting goals, making payroll, hiring/firing, making a profit, growing a business, etc..
          Profiles I see of the aldermen are mostly non-profit, civic, social/arts related which don’t have to meet these criteria. If they fail, as so many do on financial and goal standards, excuses are made and new non-profits are created—no one seems to be held accountable. Just as with the City Council who believe voters would elect a ham-sandwich if labels Democrat or ‘Civic.’

  2. Let’s address the summer

    Let's address the summer youth program before the next mayor gets in.  My connection with it is with the two assigned to the Levy Center each year.  One takes attendance  at classes, and that isn't done the other 10 months of the year.  What to you suppose the use is of those records?  And did the employed youth learn more that uputting X's in small boxes?  I never noticed ANY staff member offering that teen any instruction.

    The second youth:  Assigned to the janitor.  He swept and vacuumed while the janitor leaned on a broom.  Is that instruction for future employment.

    I never saw a sign that the mayor set any specific instructions with the Levy Staff about that they were expected to do with these teens.  Can I assume that she was invisible elsewhere?  Or maybe having a photo shoot with Morty Shapiro at NU,

    1. Liz is great

      Liz is great.  I hope that the new Mayor will take steps to bring in a new City Manager once they are established. 

      1. Mayor’s authority
        Does the mayor have the authority to bring in a new city manager? Who interviews…the council members? Just wondering…..

        1. Who hires the manager?

          The City Council appoints the city manager. (See city code 1–8-1.) The mayor is a member of the City Council, along with the nine aldermen, but typically the mayor only votes in the case of a tie.

          — Bill

        2. New City Manager

          I will vote for the mayoral candidate that pledges to fire Bobkiewicz and his City Hall lackeys.

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