Voters in only three of Evanston’s nine wards will have a choice for alderman in the April 9 election. With early voting starting today, here’s a look at the races in each of those wards.

1st Ward
Evanston’s 1st Ward includes a complex mix of single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops and rental apartments just west and south of the Northwestern University campus as well as parts of downtown Evanston.

Incumbent Judy Fiske has been a reliable ally of lakefront single-family homeowners in Precinct 4 in opposing bed and breakfasts and almost anything else that might change the status quo along the waterfront.

She also has long been allied with efforts by single-family homeowners in Precinct 3, where she lives, to oppose expansion of the university west of Sheridan Road.

Serving so far during a lull in downtown development, she has had little opportunity to vote on major new projects, but she was one of only two aldermen in January to vote against reviving the 1890 Maple and 1881 Oak high-rise project in the 2nd Ward, and also opposed revised plans for the Central Station development in the 7th Ward.

On her campaign website she says she is “working with developers to establish several new office and residential projects that will bring hundreds of consumers into the downtown.”

But so far those efforts have generally not borne fruit and a representative of the owners of 1515 Chicago Ave., complaining that the office building Fiske wants there is financially unfeasible opted to demolish the existing building on the site, after sensing no support for their plans to build an extended stay hotel on the property instead.

Fiske, a former real estate sales agent and long-time Evanston resident, now owns a pet supply store on Davis Street.

Challenger Ed Tivador was one of the early purchasers of a condominium in the high-rise Sherman Plaza development downtown.

Tivador and Fiske both say they’re opposed to plans for 35-story condominium tower at 708 Church St., which would obstruct the clear views of the lake that many Sherman Plaza residents now have.

That project’s planned development permit runs out at the end of the year, and so far there’ve been no signs the developers have the financing to be able to move forward with it.

Both candidates say they favor “balanced” development, but Tivador suggests Fiske only represents the single-family homeowner segment of the ward — ignoring the interests of high-rise condo owners, residents of older-adult retirement communities and the university.

Tivador, the superintendent of Northbrook/Glenview School District 30, also said, in an interview session that Fiske declined to attend, that he favors limiting property tax increases to the rate of inflation. Over the past four years, Evanston aldermen have raised property taxes at twice that rate.

6th Ward

The 6th is Evanston’s most easily defined ward, occupying the northwest corner of the of the city. It is dominated by single family homes, although it has some multi-family housing, concentrated along Central Street and in two retirement communities.

Incumbent Mark Tendam, completing his first term on the City Council, faces a challenge from Mark Sloane, who came in second in a three-way race for the seat four years ago.

Tendam says he’s supported “responsible” economic development projects — including Curt’s Cafe, the Old Neighborhood Grill and Central Street Cafe, but opposed a McDonald’s.

He also backed a scaled-down version of a Chase Bank branch that had drawn opposition from neighbors around Crawford Avenue and Gross Point Road.

Sloane says he wants to bring “fiscal restraint and respect for your money” to city hall.

Reflecting the large number of families with children in the ward, both candidates say they back a proposed indoor sports facility in the former city recycling center, which so far has not won City Council approval.

Both candidates participated in a video interview with local reporters earlier this month.

5th Ward

In Evanston’s 5th Ward, two-term incumbent Delores Holmes faces a write-in challenge from community activist Carlis Sutton.

Running from just west of the Northwestern University campus to the North Shore Channel, the ward includes some of the city’s most economically challenged precincts.

In response to a League of Women Voters’ questionnaire, Holmes said she supports efforts to expand existing businesses and attract new ones across the city and investments in “local neighborhods that will help create equity.”

Sutton said he also favors development, but that “any substantial infrastructure requirements would be the responsibility of the developer, not the taxpayers.”

Both candidates talked about their positions on taxes and job creation in a video interview with local reporters.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Aldermanic race

    Congratulations on your overview of the first ward race. Judy Fiske who will do anything and say untruths about her opponent  only cares about the lakefront. She answers to the people who have fought every thing and really thinks she and her small old group own the lakefront. Alderpeople should care about the city as a whole. There are those of us who can't afford to buy a house on the lakefront Ms Fiske and we should matter as well as those who have to live in a high rise for health reasons. 

    If Ms Fiske ran this city since 1978 when the first high rise was built. We would have a flat sleepy town with empty   stores and businesses just like we did  in the 70's through the 80's  she really needs to go!

    I for one will vote for an intelligent forward but careful thinking person to round out an exceptional council.  Ed Tivador will get my vote!

  2. Judy Fiske, for R1 zoned residents only

    Yes…Judy only cares about people who live in single-family homes.

    From her own website:

    "Ald. Fiske supports single-family redevelopment of the Kendall block."

    Judy doesn't want condos, apartments, or townhouses in HER neighborhood.   And she doesn't like apartments on Central Street.  She also opposed apartments in, of all places, DOWNTOWN Evanston!

    And of course, let's not forget her opposition to the  Mather building.

    Maybe Judy can tell us WHERE she will allow non-R1 people to live – whether they are students, young people, or old people.      Skokie?  Rogers Park?   Or maybe she'll allow them to live in Wards 2,8, and 9….just not in HER special "historic" neighborhood.

    It seems like if  you can't afford an R1 home, or if you can't keep up with maintaining a house, you aren't welcome in Judy's Evanston.

    There is also something fundamentally stupid about people who buy houses next to Northwestern University, and then complain about students….and people who buy houses on the lakefront, and then complain about people having fun on the lakefront.  

    The Tribune had an article today about the "concerned neighbors" of Wrigleyville who are upset by all the noise, traffic, and crowds that the Cubs attract to "their" neighborhood.  Maybe if Tivador wins, Judy can move to Chicago's 44th ward and become an alderman down there.

  3. Who will Tivador represent?

    In looking at Tivador supportor list it reads like a Who's Who's of Evanston special interest groups,  The fire fighter union, down town business interests and NU.  Why is Alderperson Burrus supporting him?  She works for NU!

    Judy Fiske is not perfect, but why do we want another council member who might put NU interests before Taxpayers?  We already have Alderperson Burrus.

    By the why I have never heard Tivador speak at a public meeting on any issue. I am not so certain what he really is representing, those who claim he might represent the renters and non- R1 owners may be fooled.

    1. The First Ward needs a real alderman

      "In looking at Tivador supportor list it reads like a Who's Who's of Evanston special interest groups,  The fire fighter union, down town business interests and NU.  Why is Alderperson Burrus supporting him?  She works for NU!"

       Alderman Burrus abstains on any issue that is related to NU.  I challenge you to tell us any time where her role as an alderman conflicted with her job at NU.  [ Compare to Fiske,  doggie food saleswoman, who holds a special meeting for Evanston dog owners ]

      Second,   by "special interest groups" do you mean former mayors Morton and Lytle, businessmen like Hecky, and people who have worked with Dr. Tivador , like Schoenberg?

      "but why do we want another council member who might put NU interests before Taxpayers?"

      Taxpayers?  Listen, people who live in condos or rent apartments pay plenty of taxes…and Judy Fiske isn't helping taxpayers when she votes against apartments on Central ($1m  in taxes per year), Emerson ($1m) or tried to stop the Mather ($30m over 30 years) or every other project that she opposed.  Judy Fiske is no friend of the taxpayer.  { and what about that golf course tax idea?  }

      And since you mention Burrus – please cite a specific example of her favoring NU interests.     Burrus also  is probably the one member of council who is most concerned about taxpayers.  [ Who opposed Ann Rainey's speakeasy?  Who opposed the branch libraries?  ]

      You want to hear Tivador talk?  He's been willing to show up at meetings…it wasn't Tivador who was afraid to face the   questioning  of Bill Smith and "The Reporters", it wasn't Tivador who was afraid of the League of Women Voters.  Check out his website, see where his next coffee is, and you can talk to him.  

      And let's face it, Judy Fiske has alienated so many people – aldermen, businessmen, NU, etc…that the 1st ward doesn't really have an aldermen.  She is regarded as obstructionist, and not taken seriously, and is therefore an ineffective representative of the 1st ward.  How else to explain all of those lopsided votes?  Why else would a sitting alderman openly campaign against another alderman?  When have we seen a sitting alderman's challenger receive the support of so many prominent people?

      Judy Fiske?  She should change her name to "Junad Fiske", because she is just another one of those people who show up at every single   Council meeting to  complain about everything- only to be ignored by Ann Rainey and the other grown-ups on Council.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *